Netanyahu Thanks Russia for Assisting in Returning IDF MIA Home

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Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO on 4 April, 2019

By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 4 April, 2019

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin and his country for assisting in the recovery and the return of the remains of IDF MIA Sgt. Zachary Baumel.

Baumel went missing in 1982 during a battle in Lebanon 37 years ago. His remains were returned to Israel a few days ago.

Netanyahu is in Moscow for a short visit to “discuss events in Syria, and they are accumulating, the ongoing and special coordination between our militaries and other issues that are important for the State of Israel,” as he explained before takeoff on Thursday morning.

Putin stated at the beginning of the meeting that the Russian army, together with the Syrians, found Baumel’s burial place.

Netanyahu replied by telling Putin that he now “expressed the supreme value” that the Russian people attribute to finding missing soldiers and bringing them for a proper burial. “This is a shared value by all of this,” he said.

“Therefore, two years ago I approached you with a personal request – to help us find the remains of the soldiers, including Zachary Baumel, because of the shared values of comradeship and brotherhood in arms. You responded immediately. You said you would act personally. You tasked your people, and they have done an outstanding job, and a few days ago you brought us Zachary Baumel to the country,” Netanyahu said.

“I want to thank you, my friend, in my name and in the name the people of Israel for what you have done,” he added.

Lauding the bonds between Jerusalem and Moscow, Netanyahu underscored that Baumel’s return “exemplifies and expressed the great shared values which unite our two nations.”

Netanyahu received more of Baumel’s personal belongings, including his tank jumpsuit and boots, at a special ceremony at the Russian Defense Ministry.

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