Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday met with the Secretary of the Russian National Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem.
"Mr. Patrushev, Secretary of the National Security Council of the Russian Federation, welcome to Israel. Thank you and President Putin for agreeing to come to this meeting in Jerusalem. We thank you for the friendly relations between Russia and Israel, and I would especially like to thank you for the unique humanitarian action that you took in returning the late Zachary Baumel for burial here in the State of Israel. This step touched the hearts of all Israeli citizens. I will also not forget the moving ceremony that you held in Moscow together with General Gerasimov in the context of returning Zachary Baumel,” Netanyahu said.
“This year the State of Israel's Independence Day fell on the Ninth of May, which is the day marking the victory over Nazi Germany. I note this because there is a clear line between these two dates. Without the victory of the Red Army over Nazi Germany it is doubtful whether we would have been able to establish the State of Israel. The Russian people were massively and brutally attacked by the Nazis 78 years ago this week in Operation Barbarossa.”
“Therefore, I am certain that from this perspective as well it is understood in Russia the significance for us of a regime that calls for our destruction, not just to conquer us but to destroy us, and is daily acting to achieve this goal,” said the Prime Minister.
“Therefore, Israel will not allow Iran, which calls for our destruction, to entrench on our border; we will do everything to prevent it from attaining nuclear weapons. Self-defense is a very important lesson of 20th century history, certainly for the Jewish people and its state,” he stressed.
“On this occasion, I would like to thank President Putin for his statement that the security of Israel is important to Russia. He has said this many times and I very much appreciate it.”
“Mr. Patrushev, I welcome your arrival in Jerusalem at the behest of President Putin. Our joint goal is to advance substantive dialogue together with the US in order to deal with the complex security challenges of our region, while expressing commitment to Israel's security. This is the natural continuation of the good cooperation that exists between our two countries, Russia and Israel, and between the national security councils of our countries under your leadership and that of Meir Ben-Shabbat,” continued Netanyahu.
“I would like to state as clearly as possible that cooperation on the security level between Russia and Israel has already contributed greatly to security and stability in our region and has led to substantial change in the situation in the region. I hope that this trilateral dialogue will assist in expanding stability and security in the region,” the Prime Minister concluded.
Later this year I expect to host President Putin in Israel in order to lay the cornerstone of the monument commemorating the siege of Leningrad, and also to begin the events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
Again, I would like to thank you, the Russian government and President Putin for all of your efforts to return to Israel the remains of our fallen. Welcome to Jerusalem, welcome to Israel."
Netanyahu’s meeting with Patrushev comes a day after he met US National Security Adviser John Bolton.
On Tuesday, Bolton, Patrushev and their Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat are set to hold a tripartite meeting in which Netanyahu will also take part.