Russian parliament’s speaker arrives in Israel for official visit

A Russian delegation led by the speaker of the Russian Federation Council, Valentina Matviyenko, arrived in Israel for an official visit on Wednesday. The Russian officials will hold talks with their Israeli counterparts and discuss international cooperation and the situation in the Middle East. The delegation will also participate in a session of the Knesset that will be followed by a meeting between Matviyenko and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein. In a statement released before her departure for Israel, Matviyenko said Russia and Israel are two equal partners showing the effectiveness of cooperation.
DEBKAfile's sources report that the delegation's visit and the unusual statement are in the framework of Russia's efforts to gain support from Middle Eastern countries for the continuation and expansion of the Russian military operation in Syria.  

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