Syrian official denies plans to host Russian missiles

Other News Materials 22 August 2008 12:55 (UTC +04:00)

A Syrian official on Friday denied that the country has agreed to host Russian missiles in an effort to counter the planned deployment of a US missile shield in Eastern Europe, reported dpa.

"What was reported by some media with regard to Syria's agreement on deploying Iskander missiles in its territories are baseless," he told the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).

The official, who was not named in the report, said no such issue was discussed at all during talks this week between Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Al-Assad, during an official visit to Russia on Wednesday said: "Military and technical cooperation, of course, is the main issue. Weapons purchases are a priority ... particularly as the West and Israel continue to pressure Russia."

Moscow has come under severe criticism from the United States and Israel for reinvigorating Soviet-era weapons trade with Syria, a close ally of Iran.