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No plans for Putin-Netanyahu meeting in Paris, says Kremlin

The Kremlin spokesman recalled that the agenda includes only one bilateral meeting with Donald Trump

MOSCOW, October 30. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s agenda for his November 11 visit to Paris does not include a bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but the two leaders may hold a brief conversation during the day’s events, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"The Paris visit’s agenda includes only one bilateral meeting, which will be with [US President Donald] Trump," he said, adding that preparations for the meeting "are underway." "Apart from that, Putin is scheduled to attend memorial events [marking the 100th anniversary of the World War I Armistice - TASS], so he will have an opportunity to hold brief conversations with other participants, including Netanyahu," the Russian presidential spokesman noted.

"A bilateral meeting [between Putin and Netanyahu] will depend on the decisions that the [Russian President] and the [Israeli] prime ministers will make, but the current agenda does not include it," Peskov said. According to him, "the president will be unable to arrive in France one day prior [to the celebrations] as he has other plans, and France has prepared a lot of activities that will take place on the very day [of the memorial events]." "This is why there is currently no clear understanding in this regard," the Kremlin spokesman concluded.

On Monday, Israeli media reported that the country’s prime minister intended to meet with the Russian leader in Paris. Netanyahu said on October 7 that he had held a telephone conversation with Putin and arranged a meeting with him, which would be their first one following the downing of Russia’s Ilyushin Il-20 aircraft crash over the Mediterranean Sea on September 17.

Il-20 crash

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, on September 17, contact was lost with a Russian Il-20 aircraft flying over the Mediterranean Sea back to the Russian Hmeimim air base in Syria. The ministry said the aircraft had disappeared from radar during an airstrike four Israeli F-16 fighter jets carried out on targets in the Syrian province of Latakia.

The Russian Defense Ministry stated that the Il-20 aircraft had been accidently downed by Syrian air defenses as the Israeli F-16 jets had been using it as cover.

The Israeli Air Force and those who made the decision to use the Il-20 aircraft as cover are solely to blame for its crash, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said at a briefing.