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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Medvedev Talks about Syria with UAE leader

RIA Novosti

22:16 23/02/2012 MOSCOW, February 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan discussed the situation in Syria in a telephone conversation on Thursday, the Kremlin said.

“The significant attention [during the telephone talks] was put on the necessity to stop violence in this country wherever it comes from and to set up a dialogue comprising all the sides involved in the Syrian conflict,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Apart from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), another Gulf states, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are believed to sponsor Syrian opposition, while Russia is against changing regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Earlier on Wednesday, Medvedev also held telephone talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, Saudi King, Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, one of the main Assad’s allies in the region.

Saudi Arabia's official SPA news agency reported on Thursday that King Abdullah told Medvedev “to coordinate with the Arabs its decisions on Syria…before using veto.”

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also talked by telephone on Thursday with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi. Both China and Russia refused to participate in a so-called Friends of Syria meeting that will be held on Friday in Tunisia.

The U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Thursday that the international community would deliver its stance to Syrian authorities even without Russia and China’s participation.

Moscow and Beijing, the two veto-wielding UN Security Council members, blocked earlier in February a resolution on Syria that calls on Assad to step down.

Syria for almost a year is living under continuous anti-government protests. According to the UN, the total number of victims in the country has exceeded 5,400 people. The Syrian authorities said that over 2,000 military and law enforcement officials were killed in clashes with well-armed militants.

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