Published On: Fri, Sep 13th, 2019

Israel news: Netanyahu cozies up to Putin with Iran pledge as Trump spying claims whirl | World | News

This all comes after the Israeli Prime Minister vowed to annex parts of the West Bank to appease right wing voters and parties ahead of Israeli elections on Tuesday. The crunch vote next week has inspired an aggressive Netanyahu, as he attempts to gain a firmer grip on power. His Lukid Party hold the same number of seats as opposition Blue and White Party (35). One man who was not impressed with Netanyahu’s West Bank proposal was Russian President Putin.

The Russian Foreign Ministry warned the policy could result in “sharp escalation of tensions in the region [and] undermine hopes for the establishment of long-awaited peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours”.

Despite this, Putin did pledge his support for Netanyahu’s candidacy, and the two nations have continued discussions on military cohesion in Syria and the Middle East.

Putin’s support comes conveniently amid claims by Politico that Jerusalem has been using sophisticated recording devices to spy on US President Trump.

The US government concluded Israeli operatives were most likely to have put surveillance devices in place to spy on Donald Trump and his associates, listening to phone calls in a number of ‘sensitive’ areas in Washington.

Netanyahu has firmly denied the claims made by three former US officials.

His office described the accusations as a “blatant lie”.

US-Israeli relations had been positive previously, with the standout pledge of support coming from Trump when he controversially moved the US Embassy in Israel to disputed Jerusalem.

Putin and Trump have not had the best relationship of late themselves, with fears of Russian influence in Western elections and disagreements over regimes in Syria and Venezuela driving a wedge between the two super powers.

Another of Netanyahu’s ongoing feuds is with Iran. Ahead of next week’s elections the Israeli Prime Minister has devoted substantial time to challenge the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

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He also told Putin that Israel needed “freedom to act” against Iran.

He added: “Security coordination between us is always important, but it is especially important now, since in the past month there has been a serious increase in attempts by Iran to hit Israel from Syria and to place there precision missiles to use against us.”

The meeting between Putin and Netanyahu took place in Russian coastal city Sochi.

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