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Putin, Netanyahu meet before Israeli parliamentary election

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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Sochi, Russia, Thursday Sept. 12, 2019. (Shamil Zhumatov/Pool Photo via AP)

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MOSCOW (AP) — Ahead of Israel’s early parliamentary election next week, Russian President Vladimir Putin says the Kremlin has an interest in who wins power.

Putin spoke Thursday at the opening of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the southern Russian city of Sochi.

Putin says “over 1½ million immigrants from the Soviet Union live in Israel. We always considered them our people, compatriots. And, of course, we are not indifferent to what kind of people will come into the Israeli parliament.”

The Israeli leader said coordination with Russia’s military was important because of Russia’s presence in Syria. Netanyahu says “over the past month we have seen a sharp increase in Iran’s attempts to use the territory of Syria to attack us.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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