German, Russian top diplomats meet next week over contentious issues

MOSCOW (dpa)- Germany's top diplomat, Heiko Maas, and Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov are expected to meet next Wednesday in Moscow to discuss contentious issues such as the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, and Iran's nuclear ambitions.
"A deep exchange of views will be held on the most pressing international issues," Lavrov's spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said on Thursday in comments carried by state news agency TASS.

, Heiko Maas
, Heiko Maas

Topics will include the "situation in Ukraine, Syria and around Iran, as well as global stability and strategic security," Zakharova said.
Germany has led European Union efforts to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border, where Moscow supports rebel groups seeking to establish autonomy from Kiev.
Russia is also a major ally of the Syrian and Iranian governments, whose relations with Western powers have frayed amid the Syrian civil war and allegations that Iran is seeking to build nuclear weapons.
Maas and Lavrov last met a month ago in the western German resort city of Koenigswinter, on the Rhine River, during a convocation of the bilateral Petersburg Dialogue forum.
The top diplomats' attendance was seen as a sign that tensions between Germany and Russia have been easing.
"Without Russia, we will not find answers to the pressing issues in global politics," Maas said at the time. "We will only achieve lasting peace in Europe if we work together."

Thursday, August 15th 2019

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