Putin pledges to drop Syria arms deal

Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that he will not sign a contract to sell SA-18 surface-to-air missiles to Syria, according to an Israeli daily.

    Sharon lobbied hard to scuttle Russia's planned missile sale

    The reported promise, said to have been made in a phone call by Putin on Thursday, came on the day that Syrian President Bashar al-Asad begins a four-day official visit to Russia.

     

    The Haaretz newspaper said Sharon had explained to the Russian leader that the weapons, also called Igla missiles, risked falling into the hands of Hizb Allah, which is opposed to Israeli occupation. Hizb Allah was successful in driving Israeli forces out of occupied southern Lebanon in May 2000. 

     

    Sharon's office had said on Thursday that the Putin-Sharon phone call centred on the situation in the Middle East, the unilateral Israeli plan of disengagement from the Gaza Strip, relations with Syria and Hizb Allah and their implications, and the recent election of Mahmud Abbas as Palestinian president.

     

    The Syrian leader arrives in Moscow on Monday amid controversy over reports that Russia was ready to sell Syria, its long-time ally in the Middle East, state-of-the-art missiles capable of hitting any target within a radius that includes Israel.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.