Russian, and Iraqi officials discuss Syria situation

The situation in Syria and Russian-Iraqi ties, including military-technological cooperation, were addressed during a visit to Baghdad by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website on Thursday.

"On August 1, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Presidential Envoy for the Middle East Mikhail Bogdanov, who is on a working visit to Iraq, met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad, as well as held meetings with the country's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and Deputy Oil Minister Ahmed al-Shamma," it said.

The sides exchanged opinions on the present-day situation in the Middle East and North Africa.

"When discussing the situation in and around Syria, both sides stressed the need to immediately stop the bloodshed and violence regardless of its source, as well as the need for the Syrians themselves to resolve their internal problems peacefully, without any foreign intervention and through broad dialogue aimed at reaching nationally recognized solutions to the crisis and implement required reforms," the ministry said.

Russian and Iraqi officials also agreed that it is "necessary to enhance cooperation in the oil and gas sector, electricity generation, military-technological issues, as well as educational programs for Iraqi citizens," it said.

During the visit to Iraq, Bogdanov also met with the president and prime minister of the Kurdistan Autonomous Region.

"During the meeting, great attention was paid to ways to promote cooperation with the Kurdistan Autonomous Region in different areas based on the traditions of historical ties between the Russian and Kurdish people," the ministry said.

The region's leaders expressed their interest in Russian companies' role in implementing programs to develop different sectors of the local economy.

"The Russian side announced its readiness for practical cooperation with the Kurdistan Autonomous Region as an important element of the entire range of Russian-Iraqi relations," the ministry said.

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