Russia, Iran back talks to solve Syrian crisis

Russia, Iran back talks to solve Syrian crisis

MOSCOW - The Associated Press
Russia, Iran back talks to solve Syrian crisis

AFP Photos

Russian and Iranian presidents say the Syrian crisis and other Mideast problems can only be settled through dialogue.

President Dmitry Medvedev's office said he and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad agreed in a telephone call Thursday that regional issues, including the Syrian problem "can be solved exclusively by political methods, by encouraging a dialogue of all interested parties." The statement follows the Kremlin's rejection of a Western push for sanctions against Syria, where a government crackdown on a 9-month-old uprising has killed more than 5,000 people. Moscow has backed an Arab League plan that so far has failed to stop the violence.

Ahmadinejad also welcomed Moscow's proposals for soothing international concerns over Iran's controversial nuclear program.

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