Medvdev thanks Jordan King for offering aid to S Ossetia

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Moscow, Aug 25 (UNI) Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has expressed his gratitude to Jordan's King Abdullah for offering humanitarian aid to South Ossetia, at the bilateral talks at the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

''Mr Medvedev thanked the King for his plans to send humanitarian aid to South Ossetia,'' the Kremlin press service reported today.

President Medvedev and King Abdullah II discussed prospects for developing bilateral cooperation, especially trade and economic ties, and examined current international issues,'' it said.

Medvedev noted at the talks yesterday that this was already their third meeting in six months, adding that the fact was evidence of good relations between the two countries.

''Economic ties are developing and trade turnover is increasing, although we would like it to grow even more intensively,'' Mr Medvedev said.

King Abdullah said the relations between Russia and Jordan were important for the entire West Asia. The two countries had healthy economic relations, and there were good prospects for further cooperation in the coming months and years, he added.

King Abdullah is the second high-level dignitary from West Asia to visit Russia in the wake of the Russia-Georgia conflict over South Ossetia.

Last week, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad held talks in Sochi with President Medvedev at which he backed Moscow in Russia-Georgia conflict.

Mr Assad said on Thursday Russia's military campaign in Georgia was a justified response to provocation from Tbilisi.

Moscow also announced it was ready to sell new weapons to Syria, triggering alarm from Israel.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said any arms sales of ''a defensive character'' to Syria would not change the strategic balance in West Asia. Moscow and Damascus are reportedly preparing deals on anti-aircraft and anti-tank missile systems, as well as surface-to-surface Iskander missiles.

UNI XC SLD AS1626

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