TEL AVIV – Israel and Russia have reached an agreement ensuring the preservation of the 1974 ceasefire line on the Golan Heights, Israel’s Ambassador to Russia Gary Koren said Monday.
TASS Russian News Agency quoted Koren telling journalists that the two countries “coordinated the arrangement under which Russia pledged to make sure, as it were, that the Syrian Army will not cross the cease-fire line established under the 1974 agreement. It looks like everything is functioning for the time being. I hope it will be so in the future, as well.”
Koren added that Israel has reiterated its demand that Iran withdraw fully from Syria.
The 1974 ceasefire agreement established a UN peacekeeping buffer zone between Israel and Syria that Jerusalem is concerned may be violated by regime forces or Iranian troops.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy on Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, last week said Iranian proxy militias have withdrawn 85 kilometers (53 miles) from the Golan border.
“There are no units of heavy equipment and weapons that could pose a threat to Israel at a distance of 85 km from the line of demarcation,” Lavrentiev was quoted as saying in TASS.
Last month, Russia’s Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov said that despite Israel’s demands, Moscow cannot force Iranian forces to withdraw from Syria. He conceded that the Kremlin could talk to its “Iranian friends” but nothing more.
Viktorov added that Iran is playing a “very important role” in Syria to “eliminate terrorists.”
“The Iranian presence in Syria … is fully legitimate according to the UN principles and the UN charter,” he told Israel’s Channel 10.