Israel rejects Russian idea for a buffer zone in the Golan Heights
Israeli authorities have rejected the Russian proposal to create a 100-kilometer zone at the borderline between Israel and Syria, into which Iranian troops would not be allowed. This proposal was offered on Monday, July 23, during negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a Russian delegation led by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Jerusalem.
In response to Lavrov, Netanyahu said that Israel would not allow Iranian forces, fighting on the side of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, to come even within 100 kilometers of the Golan Heights, according to Reuters, citing an unnamed representative of the Israeli government.
Meanwhile Netanyahu called relations between Israel and Russia “vitally important.” In addition, he stated that “he highly values the statements regarding the security of Israel,” which were made during the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump in Helsinki.
Two weeks after Netanyahu met with Putin in Moscow, the Israeli Prime Minister carried out negotiations with Lavrov and the Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov concerning the Syrian conflict, and in particular the question of the presence of Iranian forces in Syria. During this meeting they also considered the question of maintaining security along the Israeli border, according to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.