Russian President Medvedev starts official visit to Syria

09:54, May 11, 2010      

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Syrian President Bashar Assad (R) welcomes his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev at Ash-Shaeb presidential palace in Damascus, capital of Syria, May 10, 2010. Medvedev is on a two-day visit to Syria for talks on recent Israeli accusations against Damascus of arming the Lebanese Hezbollah. Israeli President Shimon Peres' office announced Sunday that Russian President agreed to deliver an Israeli message to Syrian leader to ease tensions with Syria. (Xinhua/Bassim)

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived here Monday evening, starting an official 2-day visit to the Syria.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad held a grand reception ceremony for his Russian counterpart upon his arrival, which has been broadcast live by Syrian national TV station.

President al-Assad is to hold talks with his Russian counterpart on the Mideast peace process, international security, fighting terrorism, Iranian nuclear issues and enhancing bilateral relation between Syria and Russia, the official SANA news agency reported on Monday.

Medvedev's visit to Damasusc comes just a week after the United States said it would renew sanctions against Damascus for supporting terrorist groups.

Several new cooperation deals including encouraging investments will be signed during Medvedev's visit, the local media reported.

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