Putin gestures while speaking to Netanyahu, during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. File photo/ Reuters
Russia condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex the Jordan Valley ahead of a meeting between the Israeli leader and President Vladimir Putin later on Thursday, warning it could sharply increase regional tensions.
Netanyahu, who is campaigning for re-election on Sept.17, announced on Tuesday he intended to “apply Israeli sovereignty” to the Jordan Valley and adjacent northern Dead Sea - territory in the West Bank that it captured in the 1967 Middle East war and which Palestinians seek for a state.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement late on Wednesday that it had noted what it said was the Arab world’s “strongly negative reaction” to Netanyahu’s announcement.
“We share concerns about such plans from the Israeli leadership, the implementation of which could sharply escalate tensions in the region, undermine hope for establishing a long-awaited peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours,” it said.
Netanyahu and Putin are due to hold talks in the southern Russian Black Sea city of Sochi later on Thursday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised to help finance new infrastructure in Mongolia on a one-day visit this week, as the landlocked country looks to reduce its reliance on Beijing.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday he planned to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week when he attends the Eastern Economic Forum
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that India would offer Russia a $1 billion credit line to help develop the Russian Far East.
UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a message of congratulations to Erdogan on his re-election as president.
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