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Top official warns of conflicting Russian, Israeli interests in the Middle East

Russian goals in the Mideast contrast sharply with those of Israel, Reuters quoted senior Israeli official Avi Dichter as saying on Tuesday.

Dichter, who chairs Israel’s foreign affairs and defense committee and previously headed the Shin Bet intelligence agency, said Russian interests regarding Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah are increasingly likely to cause conflicts.

“The gap between us and them is large and disturbing,” Dichter, who held high-level meetings in Moscow last week, said.

“Russia thinks and acts as a superpower and as such it often ignores Israeli interest when it doesn’t coincide with the Russian interest,” he added.

“They view Hezbollah positively as the errand lackey of Iran in Syria and Lebanon, (and) they are backing the Shi’ite militia activity in Iraq and Syria,” Dichter said of Moscow.

“Russia does not view Iran and its proxies according to the level of threat they pose or broadcast towards Israel,” he said.

Dichter further said that Moscow is making long-term plans.

“It did not return to the Middle East with military capabilities in the air and at sea only to ‘show off’ and then leave,” he said. “The new neighbor did not come here only to rent an apartment, he came here to build a villa.”


Israel, Middle East


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