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Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Sharon in Russia: Putin a "true friend of Israel"

Hard to believe, but hey, any friend of Israel is a friend of mine
From The MoscowTimes.com
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Monday praised friendly ties with Russia and called President Vladimir Putin a "true friend of Israel."

Welcoming Sharon to the Kremlin, Putin said Russia would continue trying to help the Middle East peace settlement and added that recent violence in Israel had caused much concern in Russia for former citizens who have emigrated to Israel.

"We know Israel is striving for peace," Putin said. "The Jewish people have suffered a lot over the last decades."

Sharon, who arrived in Moscow on Sunday on his third visit as prime minister, answered in kind. He said Israel highly values friendly ties with Moscow.

"President Putin is a true friend of Israel," he said at the start of talks. "We highly appreciate Putin's attitude, and his repeated personal safety guarantees for the state of Israel."

Sharon said Israel was ready to compromise for the sake of peace.

"I have repeatedly said during our meetings with President Putin that Israel was ready to make concessions in exchange for a real peace," Sharon said. "Israel is probably the only state in the world that is ready to make concessions even though it hasn't lost a single war."
AFP (Agence France-Presse) has a different take: "Russia rebuffs Israel's Sharon over Mideast roadmap"
You can read the French gloom and doom version here.