President Vladimir Putin and Vice-President Abdel Khalim Khaddam discussed relevant international issues, including the situation in the Middle East and Iraq.
President Putin confirmed Russia’s interest in the earliest possible resolution of the conflict in the Middle East noting that an all-embracing settlement of the conflict was impossible without the promotion of the peace process along three lines – Lebanese-Israeli, Palestinian-Israeli and Syrian-Israeli.
The President underlined the importance of Russia’s interaction with Syria as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the efforts aimed at a political settlement of the Iraqi problem and the continuation of the international inspectors’ work in that country.
During their two-hour conversation, the sides gave considerable attention to prospects for the development of Russian-Syrian cooperation, primarily in the trade and economic and military-technical spheres. They agreed to continue work on restoring their former contacts and promoting new agreements that will, as is generally believed, benefit both countries and help strengthen stability in the region.
Mr Putin and the Vice-President discussed the schedule of bilateral political contacts, including preparations for the forthcoming visit of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Moscow.
The Syrian Vice-President gave President Putin a message from his Syrian counterpart.