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Israeli Defense Chief To Meet Russian Counterpart In Moscow

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman plans to travel to Moscow to meet with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on May 31.

Israel's Defense Ministry announced the meeting on May 28 but did not give details about the scheduled talks.

Israeli military intelligence chief Tamir Heiman and other defense officials will accompany Lieberman to Moscow on a flight scheduled to leave Israel on May 30.

Lieberman's office said the Moscow meeting came at Shoigu's request during a telephone consultation last week.

Lieberman and Shoigu are likely to discuss the situation in Syria, where Moscow is providing military support to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Israel is concerned about the involvement of Iran and Iranian-backed forces in Syria.

Earlier in May, Israel launched air strikes against dozens of suspected Iranian targets in Syria. Those strikes on the night of May 9-10 came hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Lieberman and Shoigu last met in Tel Aviv in October 2017.

Based on reporting by TASS, dpa, and Middle East Monitor