Russian President Vladimir Putin heads a meeting on military industry issues in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
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Israel should be concerned about the deepening disconnect between Russia's aims in the Middle East and its own goals, according to a senior Israeli official who held high-level meetings in Moscow last week. Avi Dichter, chairman of Israel's foreign affairs and defense committee and the former head of the Shin Bet intelligence agency, said Russia's views on Iran, Syria's Bashar Assad and the Lebanese group Hezbollah were in sharp contrast to Israel's and a growing source of potential conflict.While he said Moscow appreciates the good ties it has with Israel and takes the diplomatic relationship seriously, it won't hesitate to impose actions that serve its interests on any countries in the Middle East, including Israel.As Russia has become more deeply involved in the Syria conflict, fighting on behalf of Assad against Sunni militants, Israel has sought to keep lines of communication with Moscow open to avoid the risk of accidental confrontation.
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