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    Russian President Vladimir Putin's meeting with President of Israel Reuven Rivlin

    Israel Asks Russia to Back Redeployment of UN Peacekeepers in Golan Heights

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    Israeli President Reuven Rivlin asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for his help to bring back UN peacekeepers to Israel's border with Syria in the Golan Heights and to boost the restoration of a demilitarized zone along the border during their talks in Moscow, Haaretz newspaper reported, citing a source from the Israeli delegation.

    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, Rivlin arrived in Moscow for a two-day visit. According to the Israeli newspaper, Syrian reconciliation was one of the central issues discussed at the meeting between the presidents.

    "Rivlin told Putin that bringing back the (UNDOF) inspectors could be an opening toward restoring the situation on the Golan Heights border to what it had been before the Syrian civil war, which was much better than it is now," the source said, as quoted by the media outlet.

    The Golan Heights is a disputed territory that was a part of Syria before Israel seized the area in 1967 during the Six-Day War.

    The Golan Heights is internationally recognized as part of Syria and the United Nations has repeatedly stated that Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights is illegal, calling for it to be returned to Syria.

    Syria demands Israel fully withdraw to the pre-1967 border, however, Israel is unwilling to accept such terms as it would give Syria access to the Sea of Galilee, which is Israel's main source of fresh water.

    The United Nations Disengagement Forces (UNDOF) peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights has been monitoring a 1974 ceasefire between Israel and Syria following a war in 1973. Currently, all UN peacekeepers have been removed from the Syrian to the Israeli side of the line of demarcation due to insurgency in Syria.


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