Russian president Vladimir Putin is visiting Israel
Russian president Vladimir Putin is visiting Israel

Vladimir Putin has begun a two-day visit to Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Jordan.

After attending the inauguration of a Second World War memorial in the town of Netanya with Israeli president Shimon Peres, foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, Putin was due to take part in talks with Benjamin Netanyahu on Israeli-Palestinian relations, Iran and Syria.

Ahead of Putin's arrival, Israeli cabinet minister Dan Meridor called on Russia to back further sanctions over Iran's nuclear programme.

"I hope Russia joins the sanctions regime, which would greatly enhance it," Meridor said.

Peres urged Russia to take measures to avert the perceived nuclear threat posed by Iran and to stop further bloodshed in Syria.

"I am sure that as a fighter against fascism Russia will not allow similar threats. Not an Iranian threat or Syrian bloodshed," Peres said at the ceremony in Netanya.

Talks between the six powers of the US, UK, China, France, Germany and Russia with Iran in Moscow to discuss Iran's uranium enrichment programme were inconclusive.

The US, Britain, France and Germany are set to apply fresh sanctions against Iran but Russia has until now taken a softer approach, opposing further sanctions.

It has also refused to call for Syria's Bashar al-Assad to step down despite the 16-month uprising against his regime. The UN said more than 10 000 people have died in the bloodshed.

Putin will go on to meet Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem and King Abdullah in Jordan.