Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived early Sunday in Paris to attend ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
But although Netanyahu’s staff was still working to the last moment to arrange a meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, it became obvious that talks would not take place.
Last week Israeli media reported an expected meeting between Netanyahu and Putin in Paris had been canceled due to Russia’s continuing anger over Syria’s downing of a Russian spy plane this past September 18 during an Israeli air strike targeting an Iranian military site. Moscow blamed Israel for the loss of 15 crew members and as a result, installed an advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile defense system in Syria.
The Prime Minister’s Office told reporters that the cancellation of the meeting was due to a request by the French government not to hold meetings on the sidelines of the Armistice Day commemorations in Paris.
However, Netanyahu is slated to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron while in Paris. PMO staff members were working to arrange a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as well, according to Israel’s Channel 10 television news.