Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks at the start of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin:
"Mr. President, thank you very much. I very much appreciate both your heartfelt hospitality and the ongoing connection between us. I came here with one main goal – to strengthen the security coordination between us so as to avoid mishaps, misunderstandings and unnecessary confrontations.
At our previous meetings, I presented you with our security policy on our northern border. Israel has clear redlines for purposes of self-defense. First, we are working to the best of our ability to prevent the transfer of advanced weaponry from Iran and Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Second, we are working to prevent the establishment of an additional terror front against us on the Golan Heights. These are red lines and we will continue to maintain hem.
Regarding the Golan Heights, we will not go back to the days when they fired at our communities and at our children from atop the Heights. Therefore, with or without an agreement, the Golan Heights will remain under Israeli sovereignty.
This visit is also an opportunity to discuss bilateral issues in the context of relations that are – as you noted – celebrating 25 years. I would like to thank you personally for the effort that you have made to advance an especially important issue, the pensions agreement that is currently being formulated, and, I hope, is on its way toward being signed. This is of the highest humanitarian importance.
I would also like to thank you for your Passover greetings. This is our festival of freedom during which every Jewish family sits around the Seder table, including the over one million Russian-speaking Israelis who are a living link between our two peoples. I would also like to wish the Russian Jewish community, as well as all Jews around the world, a Happy Passover.
I would like to thank you again for your friendship which is very important for the interests of both our peoples."
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