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President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Syrian President Bashar al-Asad

March 22, 2001

During their conversation, which lasted half an hour, the Presidents discussed in detail the relevant issues of bilateral cooperation and the situation in the Middle East.

Mr Asad expressed great esteem for Moscow’s role in the Middle East settlement and suggested Russia intensify its efforts there.

The heads of state stressed that efforts had to be taken primarily to prevent the conflict from escalating and ensure the continuity of the peace process.

As far as the Iraq situation was concerned, the Presidents stressed that it could only be resolved by political and diplomatic means.

Mr Putin and Mr Asad discussed intensifying multi-faceted Russian-Syrian cooperation, and in particular, holding a meeting of the inter-governmental commission on trade, economic and scientific and technological issues as soon as possible.

The heads of state agreed to regularly exchange their opinions on relevant international issues and bilateral cooperation.

March 22, 2001