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Netanyahu and his wife, Sara. Dined in famous Pushkin restaurant Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom, GPO
Netanyahu and his wife, Sara. Dined in famous Pushkin restaurant Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom, GPO
 
Papandreou. Seeking economic advice Photo: AFP
Papandreou. Seeking economic advice Photo: AFP
 
 

PM: Iranian nukes will spread to Turkey, Egypt

Chance meeting in Moscow restaurant between Greek, Israelis prime ministers dedicated mainly to economic issues, but Netanyahu takes opportunity to strengthen central message: Nuclear arms race underway in Middle East that includes Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt

Roni Sofer
Published: 02.16.10, 16:09 / Israel News

After his meeting with Russian president, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unexpectedly bumped into Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou Monday in a Moscow restaurant and took the opportunity to continue on the objective of his Russia trip – to warn against the Iranian nuclear threat.

 

One of the threats to world peace out of a number of existing threats of the military nuclearization of Iran is that it will kick off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East in which a number of countries including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt will seek nuclear weapons, Netanyahu told his Greek counterpart.

 

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Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, ate to their hearts' desire on the second floor of the well-known restaurant, Pushkin, in the heart of Moscow. The two dined alone, except for the security detail always accompanying the prime minister.

 

Suddenly, the restaurant's manager approached the leader and his wife and told them that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, also visiting Moscow, was currently dining on the first floor. He passed on Papandreou's request to meet him. Netanyahu was please by the opportunity that had presented itself. Papandreou then joined the Netanyahus along with his foreign minister.

 

Between the meal's courses, a spontaneous policy meeting was created between the leaders that lasted for about an hour and a half.

 

During the first part of their meeting, the two spoke mainly about economic issues, about which Papandreou sought to speak with Netanyahu from the outset. According to sources in the prime minister's entourage, Papandreou, whose country is currently immersed in a deep economic recession, sought to draw upon Netanyahu's experience as finance minister who pulled Israel out of a recession at the beginning of the last decade and as prime minister over the past year during the global financial crisis.

 

Netanyahu described the steps he took in Israel, both then and in the past year. Netanyahu said that it is not by chance that Israel is faring easily relative to other countries with the financial crisis. He said it is because of moves made in the past and currently by the cabinet.  

 

Later on, Netanyahu boasted the "outstanding chemistry" that prevailed during the meeting, and added that he agreed with Papandreou to continue talks.

 

The prime minister interviewed with major Russian media outlets on Tuesday morning. Afterwards, he toured the Red Square and even sat in a local coffee shop. In the afternoon, he will meet with Russian Prime Minsiter Vladimir Putin in the Russian White House in Moscow.

 

Netanyahu is slated to be back in Israel on Wednesday.

 

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