Russia’s Vladimir Putin visits Israel as Part of Middle East Tour

Russian President Vladimir Putin is beginning his first Middle East tour in seven years with a trip to Israel.

Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the continuing crisis in Syria are expected to top the agenda of his talks with Israeli leaders.

Israel and Russia have strong cultural ties, with Israel home to more than a million immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

But politically relations have often been strained, correspondents say.

Mr Putin returned to the Russian presidency – with responsibility for Russian foreign policy – earlier this year, after four years spent as prime minister.

He will spend a day in Israel, followed by talks in Bethlehem on Tuesday with the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday before heading to Jordan, where he will meet King Abdullah.


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