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UPDATED: 09:05, February 14, 2007
Putin calls for convening broad int'l conference on Mideast issues
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Visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin called here on Tuesday for convening a new broad international conference on Middle East issues which all concerned parties, including Lebanon and Syria, should participate in.

At a joint press conference with Jordan's King Abdullah II after their talks, Putin said, "We confirm our call for a broad international conference in the Middle East and we see the number of supporters of this proposal growing."

"But it should be well prepared and the agenda should include the Palestinian and the Lebanese Syrian tracks," said Putin, who arrived in Jordan late on Monday on the final leg of his regional tour.

The two leaders vowed in their talks to exert efforts and further cooperate to achieve a Palestinian-Israeli settlement and turn the Middle East into a zone free from weapons of mass destruction.

Putin said Russia, a member of the Quartet on the Middle East, would "use its influence in the region, its special relations with Arab friends and Israel" to achieve a settlement.

The Russian president is due to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, currently on a visit to Amman, later in the day to discuss ways to revive the long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Source: Xinhua

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