Rivlin and Netanyahu urged Moscow to use its influence and military might in the region to help defeat Radical Islam during the Russian premier’s state visit to Israel this week, where he also held talks with the agricultural minister.
President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to Israel Thursday, calling on Moscow to use its influence and military might in the region to fight Radical Islam.
Medvedev, on a state visit to celebrate the 25th anniversary of bilateral ties between the two countries, met with Rivlin and Opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, and later with Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Russia has always had an important role in our region, perhaps today more than ever. We are faced by many challenges, and at the same time opportunities, and we need to be prepared for both,” stated Rivlin.
Netanyahu called on Russia to “seize the opportunities” of a changing Middle East and called for a Russian-Israeli-American pact to fight Radical Islam, adding that Israel is determined to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
“We are determined to do two things: first, to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and the other to stop Iran from all involvement in Syria […] to ward off the establishment of an Iranian base in that country…
“[We are also working to] prevent Iran from consolidating its Shiite militias and of course, from arming Hezbollah with dangerous weapons that will be aimed against us,” Netanyahu stated.
Medvedev also held talks with Israeli Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel at the Volcani Center at Beit Dagan, the research arm of the Ministry of Agriculture. The ministers also surveyed an exhibition of farm technologies such as unmanned spraying vehicles, computers showing irrigation levels, robotics to analyze health risks to cows that could have a negative impact on milk production and a series of whole wheat production solutions to destroy granary insects.
Russia is the fourth-largest wheat producing country in the world after the European Union, China and India, with 2016-2017 production of around 60 million metric tons.
The visit is the latest in a flurry of diplomatic activity between Moscow and Jerusalem. Earlier this week Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee MK Avi Dichter (Likud) headed a Knesset delegation delegation, and Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Arkady Dvorkovich came to Israel in September. In June, Agriculture Minister Ariel and his Russian counterpart, Alexander Nikolayevich Tkachyov, signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation between Israel and the Russian Federation in the field of agriculture.
The countries are also expected to draft agreements in the fields of water resource management and irrigation technologies, development of advanced greenhouses and storage of agricultural produce.
On Friday, Medvedev visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and held talks with Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev and Minister of Environmental Protection Ze’ev Elkin before concluding his visit with a tour of Jericho.