Netanyahu on Putin meeting: Hoping for good news

PM to meet Russian president Thursday, will discuss possible release of Israeli woman held in Russian prison.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Monday that he met with Naama Issachar's mother and expressed hope that he would be able to advance her release in his meeting with President Vladimir Putin this Thursday.

"I met Yaffa today, Naama Issachar's mother. I hugged her on behalf of you all, and told her that as the Kremlin released today, I am expected to meet with President Putin on Thursday and discuss a pardon with her. I hope like you for good news," said Netanyahu.

Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov referred to various reports about the possibility of the release of Naama Issachar, noting that his country never discussed such issues in the media.

However, Peskov noted that the issue will be raised during Putin's visit to Israel this week, "This issue is likely to be raised during Putin's close contacts with Netanyahu." Peskov even added that it was "better to wait" for new details.

Yaffa Issachar, mother of Naama Issachar who is imprisoned in Russia, announced on Sunday evening that she intends to cancel all the protests that had been planned during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Israel this week.

"Because of the sensitivity of the situation, and because of the appreciation and respect I have for those engaging in the negotiations for Naama's return, and after seriously considering it – a few minutes ago I instructed to cancel for the time being all the protests that had been planned for the next few days," Issachar wrote in a post.

She added, "A short time ago, I landed in Israel, and I would like first of all to thank you on my behalf, and on behalf of Naama, who still does not really know about your tremendous support, the activists, and the entire Israeli public. We are in a critical, fragile and sensitive week for Naama's fate. For many months, you managed to bring public awareness of Naama's story to the forefront, raising the demand for her release to unprecedented heights. The public atmosphere you created with your own hands also led the Israeli government to work towards Naama's release, and the Prime Minister publicly pledged to do so."

"In a few days, President Putin will visit Israel, and I pray that he will answer my request and the request of the entire Israeli public, and bring Naama home. I want you to understand the sensitive situation we are in. We are experiencing a rollercoaster of rumors that change their hue every few hours. It's also a mental roller coaster, for my family and me," Issachar wrote.

Addressing her supporters, she noted, "You have done a wonderful job so far. It is time to let the negotiations between the countries come to fruition. I am optimistic, you should be as well. Naama and I, along with the entire family, thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

26-year-old Naama Issachar, a dual US-Israeli citizen, was arrested last April during a layover in Moscow, while flying back to Israel from India.

After nine-and-a-half grams of marijuana were found in her baggage, Naama was arrested and tried on drug smuggling charges.

While Naama denied the allegations, she was found guilty by a Russian court and sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.

Issachar appealed her sentence in December, but the court rejected her appeal.