MOSCOW - President Shimon Peres
met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin
at the Kremlin on Thursday.
share a joint understanding that problems such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be resolved and the only way to reach a settlement is through dialogue, Putin said at the end of the meeting.
The Russian president said that he discussed with Peres the violence in Syria
and its impact on the region as well as Israeli-Russian collaboration in the field of transportation.
"We are pleased with the deepening friendship between the two peoples and our many collaborations including the development of Israel's transportation infrastructure," he said. "We will be working on laying a railway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem starting this year."
Peres and Putin. Strong friendship (Photo: EPA)
Putin further called on Israel and the Palestinians to resume peace talks and remarked that the meeting with Peres and his delegation was mutually beneficial.
President Peres on his part thanked Putin for his hospitality but reminded him that "You said that Russia would help safeguard Israel's security and won't allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. Neither of us hates Iran; we want a world without fear."
But Peres also acknowledged Russia's part in ending World War II. "The world is deeply indebted to the Russian people and the Red Army for removing the Nazi threat. I salute your valor. I thank you as a citizen of the world, as a person and as a Jew."
Commenting on the Syrian civil war and the mortar shells that hit Israeli territory on Thursday, Peres said "We must make sure this does not happen again."
He addressed Putin and said, "I believe you have a job and that is to stop the bloodshed and bring peace and security to the Middle East. Time is running out, Mr. President."