Special to WorldTribune.com
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told Russian counterpart Valdimir Putin that Israel will not allow Iran and Hizbullah to operate on the Israel-Syria border.
The two met in Moscow on March 16 after Putin announced Russia’s withdrawal from Syria.
Rivlin laid out Israel’s “red lines” in Syria, telling Putin the presence of any Iranian armed forces or Iranian proxies near the Golan Heights was unacceptable. Rivlin said the Golan Heights was “non-negotiable” and must remain under Israeli control.
Syria continues to claim the Golan as sovereign territory, despite Israel’s annexation of the area in 1981.
Rivlin expressed hope that the United Nations peacekeeping force separating Israel and Syria would return, restoring the buffer between the two countries that has been absent since 2013.
Putin told Rivlin that Russia was committed to Israel’s security, and that the Russian president had “a personal commitment towards all of those Russians who immigrated to Israel.”