Putin, in Israel for Holocaust Forum, Tells Netanyahu: Visit Will Advance Our Ties

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Russian President Vladimir Putin landed in Israel Thursday, joining an airlift of presidents, prime ministers and royalty from around the world who arrived for the two-day World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem, marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

The leaders – including Putin, Pence, French President Emmanuel Macron, Britain's Prince Charles, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the presidents of Bulgaria, Romania, Finland, Georgia, Cyprus and Bosnia and Herzegovina – will gather in Jerusalem for the main ceremony at 1:30 P.M. Putin is also due to meet with the mother of Naama Issachar, an Israeli woman jailed in Russia on drug charges. 

– Haaretz Weekly Ep. 57

Hijacking the Holocaust for Putin, politics and powerHaaretz Weekly Ep. 57

The event commenced Wednesday evening with a reception dinner at President Reuven Rivlin's residence, during which he addressed he called on the politicians to battle racism and anti-Semitism.

>> Read more: Holocaust Forum and U.S. election give Israel the perfect stage to push Jordan Valley annexation | Analysis ■ What's really causing a major rift between Poland and Russia ■ America's shameful betrayal of Europe's desperate Jewish academics in the Holocaust | Opinion

International Holocaust Forum

11:20 A.M. Putin on Israeli jailed in Russia: 'Everything will be okay'

Netanyahu and Putin announced that they concluded their meeting with the mother of Naama Issachar, Yaffa. Putin said in a highly anticipated speech that "It is clear that Naama comes from a good family" and that he will undoubtedly take into account that Netanyahu wants him to make a decision on the matter of releasing her. Today, he said, Naama is being visited by Russia's human rights official. Yaffa, Putin said, is very worried, "and of course, I told her this and I want to repeat that everything will be okay."   

10:31 A.M. Mahmoud Abbas calls on France to recognize 1967 borders, Jerusalem capital for Palestinian state

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on France to recognize 1967 borders and a Jerusalem capital for a Palestinian state. Abbas and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron met Wednesday evening in Ramallah, where Abbas requested Macron's involvement in what he termed the deadlock and crisis in policy proceedings due to Israel's conduct and the United States' stances.

Abbas said that the Palestinian leadership very much wants to hold parliamentary and presidential elections, a promise that Abbas made in September, and said that he expects it will happen soon. Abbas is expected to meet with Putin on Thursday.  

10:16 A.M. Putin thanks Netanyahu for inviting him to Israel