(JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Russia’s contribution to the fight against the Islamic State and Al Qaida during a one-day visit to Moscow.
In a statement issued prior to his meeting Thursday in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Netanyahu stressed that it is important to make sure that Iran does not step in to fill the vacuum left by those terror groups.
“Of course, in the past year, there was significant progress in the fight against the radical Sunni Islamic terrorism led by Daesh and Al Qaida,” the statement said, using an Arabic acronym to refer to the Islamic State. “Russia has made a very important contribution. Naturally, we do not want this terrorism to be replaced by the radical Shiite Islamic terrorism led by Iran.”
Netanyahu also thanked Putin for offering greetings for the Jewish holiday of Purim, noting that the holiday marks an attempt by Iran’s Persian forbearers to destroy the Jewish people.
Netanyahu noted that his meeting with Putin in Moscow reflects “genuine friendship and a tightening of relations in economics, technology, tourism and culture, as well as the living bridge of the one million Russian speakers living in Israel.”