MOSCOW - During a meeting with outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at the Kremlin on Tuesday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev accepted an invitation to visit Jerusalem and said his country would "continue to play an important role in the (Middle East)."
Olmert responded that "Russia is a world power and, as such, its influence in regional issues is very important – also to Israel.
The two leaders were also expected to discuss the Iranian nuclear program and the transfer of Russian arms to Syria, Iran and terror groups such as Hizbullah. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also participated in the meeting.
Medvedev told Olmert that the relations between the two countries were "very important," adding that he hopes to develop joint humanitarian projects in the future.
After years of contacts, Olmert's cabinet agreed Sunday to hand over the small tract known as Sergei's Courtyard to Russian control. Medvedev thanked the Israeli PM for the gesture.
Olmert said the handover was a "small, symbolic matter that underscores Russia's bond to the Land of Israel."