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Iran President In Damascus For Talks

Source: RFE/RL

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will hold talks with his Iranian counterpart Mahmud Ahmadinejad in Damascus today to discuss regional and international developments.

Mahmud Ahmadinejad (right) and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad

The official SANA news agency also said that the two leaders are expected to attend a religious ceremony to mark the Prophet Muhammad's birthday.

Syrian officials said last week that Damascus was ready to mediate between Iran and the West over Tehran's nuclear program.

Ahmadinejad's last visit to Syria was in May.

Last week, Assad met with U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns, the highest-ranking U.S. diplomat to visit Syria in five years, the day after President Barack Obama announced the decision to send a U.S. ambassador back to Syria.

Syria's close relationship with Iran is something analysts and diplomats agree the United States would like to see change, but renewed U.S. ties are unlikely to affect it.

Copyright (c) 2010 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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