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Thursday, April 28, 2005
Pres. Putin To PM Sharon: Russia And Israel

Russian Pres. Putin To PM Sharon: “Russia And Israel
Are Strategic Allies
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
26 April 2005

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met this afternoon
(Thursday), 28.4.05, with Russian President Vladimir
Putin and made the following remarks at the start of
the meeting:

“We are pleased to host Russian President Vladimir
Putin. This is my fourth meeting with President Putin
and I am happy that the meeting is being held in
Jerusalem (http://tinyurl.com/5dhg8), the eternal
capital of the Jewish People. I am certain that this
meeting will deepen bilateral relations. I know that,
last night, you visited several sites in Jerusalem and
I am certain that on your next visit you will succeed
in seeing many more. I am glad that you chose this
date, so close to May 9, when the world marks the
victory over Nazi Germany. The State of Israel and the
Jewish People will never forget the sacrifices and
deeds of the Russian people, who liberated the Jews
from the extermination camps.

Today, we will discuss various issues and I am certain
that the warm relations between Russia and Israel, and
between myself and President Putin, will remain as
such and will become even warmer. I want you to know
that you are among friends here.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin replied: “Thank you
very much for your kind words regarding both myself
and my country. You referred to the period in which
this meeting is being held, days that are very
important to us because our peoples suffered more
victims than any others.

All of our previous meetings were fruitful and made
our current meeting possible. My visit is taking place
during Passover (http://tinyurl.com/9mg4t) and the
Eastern Orthodox Pascha. I would like to wish the
Jewish People well with all my heart; I wish joy for
the entire Jewish family.”

Prime Minister Sharon welcomed Russian President Putin
on his visit to Israel and said that Israel is greatly
interested in advancing bilateral relations and
enhancing them in all areas.

Russian President Putin told the Prime Minister that
he was very much enjoying his visit to Israel, which
he has been looking forward to for some time. The
Russian President said that his previous meetings with
the Prime Minister and the personal ties between them
encouraged him to visit Israel at the present time and
added that he was grateful to the Prime Minister for
the opportunity to make the visit.

On the Palestinian issue, Prime Minister Sharon said
that Israel was committed to the Roadmap and expressed
the hope that the Palestinians would honor their
commitments in order to pave the way to beginning
diplomatic negotiations on the Roadmap. He added that
an international conference would be held at the
beginning of the second stage of the Roadmap and not

Russian President Putin said that Russia’s intention
was to propose a professional meeting at the level of
experts in order to advance the diplomatic process in
the region; in any case, no kind of forum would be
convened without Israel’s assent.

The two leaders discussed the continued implementation
of the Sharm el-Sheikh understandings
() and the need to take such
steps as would strengthen Palestinian Authority
Chairman Abu Mazen.

Russian President Putin said that it would only be in
coordination and agreement with Israel that Russia
would assist the Palestinian security forces so that
the latter might fight terrorism more efficiently.

Prime Minister Sharon reiterated Israel’s desire to
coordinate various elements of the Disengagement Plan
() with the Palestinian
Authority and said that he had charged Vice Premier
Shimon Peres with the responsibility of raising funds
in order to assist Palestinian economic recovery after
the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

Prime Minister Sharon said that the Palestinians must
fight against terrorist infrastructures and disband
the terrorist organizations, which they have refrained
from doing up until now. He added that Abu Mazen is
trying to reach understandings with the terrorist
organizations and integrate them into the political
system without disbanding them, which contravenes the

Prime Minister Sharon emphasized that without the full
implementation of the Palestinians’ commitments, there
will be no diplomatic progress on the issue of
supplying missiles to Syria. He said that Israel was
concerned that new and sophisticated weapons were
liable to come into the possession of terrorist
organizations. He stressed the Syrian involvement in
terrorism and said that the problem was not the sale
of the weapons per se but to whom the weapons are

Russian President Putin said that as long as he is
President, Russia would do nothing to harm Israel.
Regarding the sale of SA-18’s, he said that Russia was
acting as responsibly as possible so as not to disturb
the military balance in the region and so as not to
create a threat against Israel. The Russian President
said that the sale of these missiles does not threaten
Israel and emphasized that they could not reach
terrorist organizations, adding that Russia has taken
all necessary steps to assure this.

On the Iranian issue, Prime Minister Sharon said that
an Iranian military nuclear capability constitutes a
tangible and existential danger not only to Israel but
also to the Middle East, Europe and the rest of the
world. He added that nuclear weapons in the hands of
extremist elements constitutes a danger that must be
prevented in any way possible.

Russian President Putin emphasized that a nuclear Iran
frightens Russia as much as it frightens Israel and
said that Russia would not help Iran achieve a nuclear
bomb. He added that on the Iranian issue, Russia was
Israel’s ally and called for cooperation in order to
prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

The two leaders agreed to continue the enhancement of
bilateral ties between the two countries in the
security, diplomatic and economic areas in order to
increase the level of cooperation and understanding.
They decided to establish a direct link between their
respective bureaus in order to increase cooperation
between the two leaders. They also discussed the
Syrian, Iranian and Hezbollah issues, as well as
Russia’s voting patterns at the UN and the advancement
of various bilateral issues.

At the end of the meeting, Russian President Putin
told Prime Minister Sharon that he very much
appreciated his determined stand in the struggle
against terrorism and his commitment to the security
issue and said that the terrorist organizations must
receive no concessions and must be shown no weakness.
He stressed that Russia was Israel’s strategic ally
and said that bilateral relations must be exhausted to
their fullest and best potential.

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