President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, colleagues and friends, I am very pleased to see you here in Russia. Mr Prime Minister, we are in constant contact, in phone contact with you and your colleagues.
I remember my trip to Israel for the unveiling of the monument to Soviet soldiers killed during World War II. Once again I want to thank you for that event, the wonderful monument, and the hospitality I received throughout my visit.
As I understand, internal political procedures in Israel are just concluding and it will now be possible to focus on both the economy and foreign affairs.
I would like to point out at once that in general I think our bilateral relations are characterised by positive trends. Good work is being done at the expert level.
Of course, I hope to talk to you about the situation in the Middle East, including in Syria.
Thank you for having accepted our invitation. Thank you very much.
Welcome to Russia.
Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu: (in Russian) Thank you Mr President.
(Re-translated.) I’m working on my Russian.
Vladimir Putin: We can hear your progress.
Benjamin Netanyahu: I’m trying to use every one of our meetings – meetings that I truly appreciate – for this purpose among others. But we understand each other perfectly well in any language. And I very much appreciate your invitation.
You are absolutely right. We approved our [2013–14 state] budget at a Cabinet meeting and a few hours later I landed here in Sochi (I arrived at 5 am). Sochi is a wonderful, thriving city, and this is also a sign that Russia is developing and flourishing.
For this reason, just as we met here I suggested that we hold our next meeting in Eilat. There is silence and tranquillity in both these cities.
Vladimir Putin: I was there, and it is a very nice place.
Benjamin Netanyahu: Of course, we want to preserve the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere in both cities. However, recently rockets have been fired more than once at Eilat from the Sinai Peninsula. This reminds us all that the region in which we live is constantly seething; it remains unstable and in some senses even explosive.
So I’m very happy to have the opportunity to discuss ways to stabilise our region, the paths that will result in additional security and more tranquillity there. Naturally, the region where we live is very important to us, but I know that it is important to you too. Together we can think about how to stabilise it and make it more secure.
Thank you once again for the invitation.