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Russia's Putin starts Middle East tour

Russia's Putin starts Middle East tour
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President Vladimir Putin is in Israel at the start of a Middle East tour aimed at reinforcing Russia’s position in the region.

In the coastal city of Netanya, he dedicated a memorial to Red Army troops who were killed fighting the Nazis in the Second World War.

His host, Israeli President Shimon Peres raised current affairs too, urging the Russian leader to take steps to avert the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and to stop the bloodshed in Syria.

Both topics were also on the agenda at Putin’s talks with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Russian President will go on to visit the Palestinian Territories and Jordan.

Russia has faced criticism from the West and some Arab nations over its stance opposing their efforts to force out Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.