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Israel’s new prime minister has first conversation with Vladimir Putin

Naftali Bennett took office last month.

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Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett (Abir Sultan/AP)

Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett (Abir Sultan/AP)

Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett (Abir Sultan/AP)

Israel’s new prime minister spoke for the first time with Russian president Vladimir Putin and the two have agreed to meet soon, premier Naftali Bennett’s office tweeted.

Mr Bennett’s office said he thanked Vladimir Putin for Russia’s contribution to stability in the region and that the two spoke of the bridge between the two countries represented by Russian immigrants to Israel.

Over one million Jews from the former Soviet Union have moved to Israel over the past three decades.

Russian mediators earlier this year helped secure the release of an Israeli woman who entered Syria in exchange for two Syrians held by Israel.

Mr Bennett said he thanked Mr Putin for Russia’s “assistance on the issue of the captives and the missing”.

It was the first time the two had spoken since Mr Bennett took office last month at the head of Israel’s new coalition government.

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After two years, Mr Bennett is to step aside while foreign minister Yair Lapid rotates into the premiership.


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