20 Feb 2019 18:28

New Netanyahu visit date to be negotiated - Peskov

MOSCOW. Feb 20 (Interfax) - New dates for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Russia has yet to be confirmed, the Kremlin said.

"[The visit date] will be negotiated," the Russian president's press secretary Dmitry Peskov told Interfax on Wednesday.

The new visit date had yet to be agreed, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said earlier.

Meanwhile, diplomatic sources told Israeli media that the visit was postponed for a few days upon both parties' consent.

Initially, Netanyahu was to visit Moscow on February 21.

According to the Aruz Sheva radio station, the two sides will speak by telephone on Thursday morning.

Netanyahu postponed his visit due to preparations for elections, Bogdanov said.

The last time the two countries' leaders met was last November, in Paris, at the centenary of the end of the First World War. They spoke about 10 or 15 minutes.

This was their first face-to-face meeting since the incident involving a Russian military aircraft over Mediterranean Sea, which was caused by the Israeli Air Force. On September 17, the Russian reconnaissance aircraft Ilyushin Il-20 with 15 servicemen on board was shot down by Syria's S-200 air defense system.

During a telephone call in early January Putin and Netanyahu discussed the situation in Syria, including in light of the announced U.S. intention to withdraw its troops from Syria. The sides reaffirmed their resolve to strengthen military and diplomatic coordination in the security sphere, the Kremlin said at the time.