Skip to comments.Sharon presses Putin to drop UN resolution on road map
Posted on 11/03/2003 2:23:27 PM PST by anotherview
Nov. 4, 2003
Sharon presses Putin to drop UN resolution on road map
By HERB KEINON
Prime Minister Sharon and President Putin
Sharon also raised Israel's concerns that Russia's aid to Iran's nuclear programs could be used weapons.
Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that Russia may reconsider the resolution it introduced to the UN security Council Thursday calling on the council to formally endorse the road map.
Sharon, in a three-hour meeting with Putin in the Kremlin on Monday, voiced Israel's adamant objections to the resolution. According to a report on Channel 1, Putin told Sharon that "if this bothers you, we will not push."
Sharon also discussed with Putin Israel's concern's that Russia's assistance to Iran's nuclear programs could be used for nuclear weapons.
A senior Israeli official told reporters that Sharon's comments were listened to seriously and with great understanding, but that Putin made no concrete commitments.
The official said Sharon told Putin the road map was aimed at forging a bilateral agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and could not work if imposed by outsiders.
"The agreement we accepted was between two sides and needs to be resolved between two sides, not by coercion from the Security Council," the official said
"Russia's position in this (UN) forum does not help strengthen our relations," the official quoted Sharon as telling Putin.
A major part of the one-on-one portion of Monday's summit was devoted to Israel's fears that Iran is covertly trying to develop nuclear weapons, the official said.
Sharon told Putin that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a threat not only to Israel but to world peace.
"My impression is that (the Russians) see the danger," the official said, adding that Putin and Sharon agreed to keep up consultations on the issue. Israel has been involved in a discussion with Moscow about halting the transfer of nuclear technology and wherewithal to Iran for years.
Asked if Sharon carried any American message on the perceived Iranian threat, the official said only that Jerusalem and Washington were in very close contact on developments in Iran.
"I imagine our position resembles that of the Americans," the official said. Hassan Rohani, the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, was scheduled to visit Moscow Monday, but cancelled at the last minute in a move widely interpreted as connected with Sharon's visit.
The Sharon-Putin meeting also dealt with anti-Semitism, and Putin condemned recent remarks by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad maintaining, "Jews rule the world." Putin was in the audience at the summit last month where Mahathir made this comment.
His remarks "fall into the realm of incitement, are not constructive and should be condemned from every possible platform," the official quoted Putin as telling Sharon.
Welcoming Sharon to the Kremlin for the third time in the last three years, Putin said Russia would continue trying to help the Mideast peace settlement and added that recent violence in Israel had caused much concern in Russia for former citizens who have immigrated to Israel.
"We follow closely how our former countrymen settle down and go about their lives in Israel and the worsening of the situation in the Middle East gives us certain concern about their future," Putin said, referring to immigrants from the former Soviet Union.
"This among other things is the reason why we are ready to go on taking an active part, as far as this is possible, in finding a settlement to the situation in the Middle East,"
"We know Israel is striving for peace," Putin said. "The Jewish people have suffered a lot over the last decades." Sharon, in his comments made before the meeting, said "I have mentioned this in previous conversation with President Putin, that Israel is ready to make concessions in exchange for real peace. Israel may be the only state in the world that is ready to make concessions without ever having lost a single war," he said. Sharon added that these concessions "will not affect Israeli security."
Sharon, who termed Putin a real friend of Israel, invited him to visit, but said he realizes this is something that will have to wait until after next spring's presidential elections.
On Tuesday, Sharon is slated to meet Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, before flying home in the evening.
Prime Minister Sharon, visiting in Russia, met with his counterpart Vladimir Putin this morning for what was described as a "friendly and hearty" discussion. Sharon called Putin a "true friend of Israel," and the two joked about the frequency of their meetings. Transportation Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Absorption Minister Tzippy Livny are accompanying Sharon on the trip.
The main topics of discussion: Russian technological help to Iran, which Sharon hopes to end or curb; Iran's budding nuclear program; missing Israel Air Force navigator Ron Arad, assumed to be held in Iran; and the Road Map plan. Sharon asked Putin not to bring this last issue up for discussion at the UN Security Council.
This should be where the broken link is above
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.