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Netanyahu would consider Ukraine-Russia mediator role if asked -CNN interview

By Reuters,


Jan 31 (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he would be willing to consider serving as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine if asked by both warring countries and the United States.

"If asked by all relevant parties, I'll certainly consider it, but I’m not pushing myself in," Netanyahu told CNN in an interview. He added it would have to be the "right time and the right circumstances."

Israel's close ally the United States would also need to ask because "you can't have too many cooks in the kitchen," he said.

Netanyahu said he was asked to be a mediator shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February of last year but he declined because he was Israel’s opposition leader at the time, not the prime minister. "I have a rule: one prime minister at a time," he said.

Netanyahu would not say who asked him to serve in the role but he said the request was "unofficial."

Ukraine asked Netanyahu’s predecessor, Naftali Bennett, to act as a mediator and Bennett met in March with Russian President Vladimir Putin and also spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy but he was unable to broker a peace deal.

Reporting by Eric Beech in Washington; Editing by Chris Reese

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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