Medvedev discusses trade, energy cooperation with Syria's al-Assad
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday to discuss cooperation on economic and energy matters.
"Political coordination continues in an organized, ongoing way. We concentrated on activating our economic cooperation," Al-Assad afterwards told a joint press conference with Medvedev in Damascus, DPA reported.
The leaders discussed cooperation in the gas and oil sector, such as exploration, refineries and transportation, electric power stations, as well as infrastructure and air transport, al-Assad said.
Al-Assad said they also discussed developments in the peace process in the Middle East.
Medvedev arrived in Syria late on Monday, shortly after meeting Israeli President Shimon Peres, who said in Moscow that Israel did not want war and did not intend to escalate tensions along its borders.
The visit is seen as part of diplomatic endeavor to decrease tensions between Syria and Israel, as well as a defiant message from Syria to Washington, in the wake of rising tensions over an Israeli accusation that Damascus had provided the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah with Scud missiles.
Both Syria and Lebanon have dismissed the allegations as "lies".
Medvedev is expected to head to Turkey later on Tuesday, where he will meet with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He is also scheduled to participate in a Russian-Turkish business forum.