Alexey Druzhinin / Pool via AFP - Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin lights a candle during his visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in the old city of Jerusalem on June 26.
Alexei Druzhinin / RIA-Novosti via AP
Russian President Vladimir Putin, second left, listens to the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III, right, during a visit to the Holy Sepulcher, in Jerusalem, June 26.
Debbie Hill / Pool via Getty Images
Israeli President Shimon Peres welcomes Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Israeli leader's Jerusalem residence on June 25, in Israel.
Jim Hollander / Pool via EPA
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chat after delivering joint statements following their meeting and lunch in Netanyahu's residence, in Jerusalem, June 25.
Majdi Mohammed / AP
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, have their picture taken with Palestinian children in traditional clothes during a welcoming ceremony prior to their meeting in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, June 26.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is on his first Middle East tour in seven years, which began with a trip to Jerusalem. Putin met with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday where the main topics were the crisis in Syria and Iran's nuclear plans. Sanctions on Iran should be increased, Netanyahu said, and demands enhanced regarding its nuclear program. Netanyahu told a news conference in Jerusalem that Israel and Russia agreed that Iranian nuclear proliferation posed a threat to Israel and the world. Russia hosted the latest talks with Iran earlier this month which failed to produce any commitments. Putin’s visit was scheduled to coincide with the inauguration of the national monument honoring Soviet Red Army soldiers killed in World War II.
On Tuesday, Putin met with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas in Bethlehem and visited the Church of the Nativity. Putin's meeting with Abbas was expected to focus on the deadlock over restarting Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that has been on hold for almost four years. Putin will travel next to Jordan, where he will meet King Abdullah.