PUTIN TO MEET WITH AHMADINEJAD IN CHINA

“Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of a summit in Beijing next week as tensions rise over Tehran’s nuclear drive, a Kremlin official said,” reports Agence France Presse. “‘Meeting Ahmadinejad will let Putin personally feel the tension around the Iranian issue and how it is perceived in Tehran,’ Kremlin foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov told reporters last week in comments that were embargoed for release until Sunday. Putin and Ahmadinejad agreed to meet over the phone and the initiative came ‘from both sides,’ Ushakov said. The meeting will come as Russia prepares to host the latest round of talks on June 18 and 19 between world powers and Iranian negotiators in a bid to find a diplomatic solution to the standoff over Iran’s nuclear programme. The Moscow talks will follow a meeting last month in Baghdad where the six world powers — the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany — confronted Tehran over its intention to enrich uranium despite fears it was building a nuclear bomb….”

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