Netanyahu Thanks Putin for Recovering Zachary Baumel's Remains

Zachary Baumel who was taken prisoner of war

Zachary Baumel who was taken prisoner of war

Thursday's visit to Moscow had been at Netanyahu's request and he had declared ahead of his arrival that it would be to "discuss events in Syria", including the "special coordination between our militaries".

Russian Federation handed over the remains and personal effects, including the combat uniform, of Zachary Baumel, who was 21 when he fought in Israel's invasion of Lebanon.

He said that their remains had been transferred to Syria after the 1982 battle.

Five days before Benjamin Netanyahu aims for a fifth term as prime minister in Israel's elections, he was in Moscow to hold talks with President Vladimir Putin.

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Thursday commented on high-level Russian-Israeli cooperation that resulted in the repatriation of the remains of an Israeli soldier missing since the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

Last year, as confirmation of the Russian role in Syria, the defense ministry said Russian military police had been deployed on the Golan Heights frontier between Syria and Israel to set up eight observation posts.

"Our military together with Syrian partners established the place of his burial", Putin was reported as saying.

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The source added that the discovery of Baumel's body will not undermine the efforts to recover the remains of other missing Israeli soldiers who fell in battle.

Putin said he valued Netanyahu's "attitude to the memory of Red Army soldiers", adding that Baumel shared the same fate as thousands of Soviet soldiers who went missing during World War II.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told Putin in response: "I would like to thank you, my friend, for myself and on behalf of Israel for the strong friendship between us, which is very important for our relationship".

The Russian army chief of staff demanded Thursday to be given more warning time before any Israeli attacks on military targets in Syria.

Baumel immigrated to Israel with his parents from NY in 1970. After it the Russian president stated the possibility to create a working group on Syria (with participation of Russia, Israel and other states, as well as the Syrians themselves) that could deal with the normalization of the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic after the final suppression of terrorism in this country. Feldman and Katz remain officially listed as missing in action, though they are also presumed killed.

Netanyahu said he asked Putin two years ago to help in the search for the remains of the missing men. "You responded immediately. You said that you would act personally", said Netanyahu.

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