Fri Jul 6th, 2018 at 09:16:59 AM EST
Thanking Putin for the Trump presidency ...
Netanyahu, Putin pencil meeting next week in Russia | Ynet News |
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next Wednesday, the same day on which the semifinals of the World Cup are played in Moscow.
The meeting will be the second between the two leaders within two months, with their last tête-à-tête taking place on May 9.
Just over a week ago, it was reported that Putin had invited the Israeli premier to his country to watch the final game of the World Cup in mid July, but Netanyahu had not made a decision at the time. The invitation was also extended to other world leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Lines of communication between Netanyahu and Putin have experienced significant activity in recent years, with the two leaders holding a series of meetings in a bid to avoid an accidental clash between Russian and Israeli forces in Syria where the Kremlin is propping up Jerusalem's foe President Bashar Assad.
Continued below he fold ...
In a telephone call at the end of last month, Putin agreed to strengthen coordination on Syria with Netanyahu, according to a Kremlin statement.
They discussed joint efforts to ensure security in the area of the Syrian-Israeli border, the Kremlin said, with Putin seeking Israeli approval to return Assad's forces back to the southern border on condition that no Iranian forces or Hezbollah terrorists remain in the area.
Israel lays down red lines for postwar relations with Syria | Times of Israel |
Thanking Putin for the Trump presidency ...
US Senators in Moscow Seek to Be 'Advesaries, Not Enemies' | The Moscow Times |
Six U.S. senators and a congresswoman are in Moscow this week ahead of a summit between presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Finland later this month.
Russian media outlets have presented the visit as a coup for the Kremlin, which has shrugged off sanctions and allegations of electoral meddling.
On Tuesday, the U.S. lawmakers met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and members of the State Duma and the Federation Council.
Russian media reported early Tuesday that the U.S. delegation, which is headed by Republican Senator Richard Shelby, had asked to keep the State Duma meeting closed for the press. (The U.S. Embassy did not respond to a request for comment.)
"[The topics were] Syria, Ukraine and Russia's meddling in the U.S. election," the head of the Duma's financial markets committee Anatoly Aksakov told Interfax. "[Duma Speaker Vyacheslav] Volodin said the claims of election meddling were absurd."
He added Volodin had said the accusations were "undignified"and "belittled" those who made them.
Lavrov said he hoped the visit would be a step toward "restoring relations," Interfax reported.
The point was echoed by Shelby. Russia and the U.S. "can be adversaries, as in sport or business, but not enemies," he was cited as saying by the state-run TASS news agency.
[Source: Moscow Times is a publication owned by Dutchman Derek Sauer]
Thanking Putin for the Trump presidency ...
Israel Has A New Poster Boy: Lindsey Graham
Excellent analysis, this sums it up: The US and its coalition confronted and defeated ISIS in the Levant region. Talks with Kurds in Northern Iraq and with President Erdogan of Turkey. Lindsey, he's the man to go to now that John McCain s on his death bed. Well done Bibi Netanyahu, a new poster child for IsraelFirst! foreign policy in the Middle East. A proud moment for the parents of Lindsey. Preposterous.
Northern Syria: A photo-op of John McCain with jihadist cut-throats
Can Lindsey Graham save US foreign policy in the Middle East? | Jerusalem Post |
As ISIS is defeated, the US continues to work with Kurdish allies in Iraq and anti-ISIS fighters in Syria while balancing relationships with Ankara and Baghdad.
Influential US Senator Lindsey Graham is on a tour of the Middle East, visiting Turkey, eastern Syria and Iraq in recent days, as he seeks to shore up US relationships. Graham, who met with US partners in eastern Syria and with Kurdish autonomous region's prime minister in Iraq, is well placed to stabilize US policy in the region. The South Caroline Senator, who is outspoken on US foreign policy and a supporter of a strong national defense, has had a close, but sometimes frayed, relationship with US President Donald Trump.
A former Air Force officer, he has served in the Senate since 2003 and chairs a subcommittees dealing with the Department of State, army personnel and crime and terrorism. The Senator, an outspoken supporter of Israel, was last in the region when he was in Jerusalem for the opening of the US Embassy in May.
He is well placed to play a key role in US relationships with Iraq, Turkey and the Syrian Democratic Forces in eastern Syria. In Turkey Graham and Senator Jeanne Shaheen of Vermont, met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, becoming the highest level US delegation to meet the Turkish president since he won re-election as president in June.
Erdogan has secured sweeping new presidential powers but his relations with the US have frayed due to numerous controversies. Several US Senators, including Shaheen, have sought to block F-35 sales to Turkey partly because Ankara is growing closer to Russia. Graham and Shaheen discussed Turkey's detention of US pastor Andrew Burnson.
Clinton supremacy and defeat ... being out of touch with parts of the constituency - the Democratic base and progressives.
○ RI Democrats In Power Not So Progressive
Martin Longman writing in The Washington Monthly
○ The Report the Senate Didn't Want You to See
Russia's naval bases in Sevastopol and Novorossisk on the Black Sea, not quite similar to US East coast ...
○ Analysts: Black Sea port in Ukraine still key to Russia's naval interests
○ The Future of the Russian Black Sea Fleet's Bases: Novorossiysk Versus Sevastopol
A report on Crimea, the heartbeat of Russia - a history. President Putin serves the self-interest of Russia and its people (perception as a politician) ...
Crimea: The Last Crusade by Orlando Figes - review and | Chicago Tribune - March 2014 |
As Putin made a point of saying in his speech, the Crimea is the place from which Russia took its Christianity. According to medieval chronicles, it was in Chersonesus, the ancient Greek colonial city on the southwestern coast of the Crimea, just outside Sevastopol, that another Vladimir, the Grand Prince of Kiev, was baptized in 988, thereby bringing Christianity to Kievan Rus', the loose confederation of Slavic principalities from which Russia derives its religious and national identity.
The Crimea was ruled by the Turks and Tatar tribes for 500 years. But after its annexation by the Russian Empress Catherine the Great, in 1783, it was re-Christianized by the Russians. Most of the Tatars were forced out and replaced by Russian settlers and other Eastern Christians: Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians. Ancient Tatar towns like Bakhchisarai were downgraded, while new towns like Sevastopol, the Black Sea naval base, were built in the neoclassical style. Russian churches replaced mosques. And there was an intense focus on the discovery of ancient Christian archaeological remains -- Byzantine ruins, ascetic cave-churches and monasteries -- to make a claim for the Crimea as a sacred site, the cradle of Russian Christianity.
Catherine envisaged the Crimea as Russia's southern paradise, a pleasure-garden where the fruits of her enlightened Christian rule could be enjoyed and exhibited to the world beyond the Black Sea. She liked to call the peninsula by its Greek name, Taurida, in preference to Crimea (Krym), its Tatar name: She thought it linked Russia to the Hellenic civilization of Byzantium.
The empress gave land to Russia's nobles to establish magnificent estates along the mountainous southern coast, a coastline to rival the Amalfi in beauty; their classical buildings, Mediterranean gardens and vineyards were supposed to be the carriers of a new Christian civilization in this previously heathen land. It was from this time that the Crimea became firmly established as the Russian elite's favorite holiday resort -- a preference continued by millions of Soviet tourists in the 20th century.
The Crimea was the fault line separating Russia from the Muslim world, the religious division on which the Russian Empire grew. From Sevastopol the Black Sea Fleet could impose the czar's will on the Ottoman Empire, ensuring Russia's control of the straits into the Mediterranean. Controlling the Black Sea was strategically critical to the Russians' domination of Ukraine and the Caucasus.
Related reading ...
○ Let Our Fame Be Great: Journeys Among the Defiant People of the Caucasus
More on Russia’s successful FIFA World Cup 2018 …
○ Global Community Gathers in Russia