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Putin Meets With Shimon Peres, Israeli President

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In this Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 photo Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, meets with chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar, left, and chairman of Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia Alexander Boroda at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti Kremlin, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service) | Getty Images

MOSCOW -- Russia's President Vladimir Putin has hosted his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres for talks focusing on economic ties and international crises.

Putin said at the start of Thursday's meeting with Peres that bilateral ties have been developing successfully. The two leaders were expected to discuss the situation in Syria among other international issues.

Earlier, Peres took part in the opening of Moscow's Jewish Museum, the biggest in Europe. The Israeli president, whose parents were from Russia, said he felt "overwhelmed by memories" when he saw the exhibition.

Peres added that "there were many happy moments in our shared history despite the shadow of pogroms."

Putin described the museum's opening as a contribution to combating xenophobia.

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