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Putin to meet Merkel over Iran, Kosovo issues
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Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Germany for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on thorny issues including Iran's nuclear program and independence for Kosovo.


The Russian president arrived in Germany's Frankfurt airport two hours later than scheduled due to snows in Moscow, according to a report by German news agency DPA.


The planned reception by the Germans in the southwestern city of Wiesbaden where the two leaders are to hold talks on Monday is canceled due to the delays, said the report.


But Merkel is still waiting to have dinner with Putin in the suburb of Hattenheim near Wiesbaden, it said.


Merkel in her weekly broadcast speech said she would talk with Putin on "how to deal with Iran and the necessity of new sanctions."


Russia has insisted sanctions are not the right option to make Iran stop its nuclear program which Iran claimed was used to generate power only.


Kosovo is another topic that could dominate the talks between the two leaders.


The US and some European countries are pushing for "supervised independence" of the Serbian province, but Russia has threatened to veto any move in the UN Security Council to grant Kosovo independence.


Merkel and Putin are due to hold talks within the framework of the Petersburg Dialogue, a civil society forum.


The mechanism was set up in 2001 by Putin and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in an effort to promote Russia-Germany relations.


(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2007)

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