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Syrian President Meets Putin's Envoy on Mideast Issues
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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad held talks on Thursday with a special envoy of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Mideast issues, mainly the Lebanese, Iraqi and Palestinian developments.

Alexander Sultanov, also Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister, conveyed to President Assad a message from Putin on bilateral relations and situation in the region, according to the official SANA news agency.

Their talks focused on the situation in Iraq and the necessity to ensure security and stability there, in addition to means leading to the resumption of a just and comprehensive peace process in the region, SANA said.

The two sides also encouraged the Lebanese parties to reach a national accord and iron out their differences on various issues.

Sultanov also held a meeting with Foreign Minister Walid al- Muallem Wednesday evening on regional issues, SANA said on Thursday.

Muallem underlined the necessity to resume the peace process in the region according to relevant UN resolutions and the Arab peace initiative.

On Iraq, Muallem stressed the need to maintain the unity of Iraq's land and people, saying Syria supported the political process and timetable of foreign forces' withdrawal.

On the Palestinian issue, Muallem called for a lift of the unfair siege on the Palestinian people and support to the Palestinian national unity government to enable the Palestinians to restore their rights and establish their independent state.

The minister also underscored Syria's support to what all the Lebanese parties agreed upon.

For his part, Sultanov underlined Syria's role in achieving security and stability in the region.

He expressed his country's appreciation of the standing relations with Syria while underlining the interest of the Russian leadership in boosting and cementing these relations to serve interests of both peoples.

(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2007)

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