Assad in Moscow to buy arms


Bashar Assad is in Moscow, where he is seeking to purchase arms.

The Syrian president also said he is planning to offer to host Russian anti-aircraft missiles on Syrian territory, according to Russian media reports Thursday. The prospect of Russian missiles on Syrian soil is being seen as an apparent response to a deal signed last week that will allow the United States to place a missile defense system in Poland.

The United States has warned Moscow in the past about selling arms to Syria.

In recent interviews, Assad said he expects Russia to be receptive to the idea of selling arms to his country in light of the revelation that Israel supplied arms to Georgia.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev contacted Ehud Olmert prior to Assad’s two-day visit to Moscow, which began Wednesday.

In a telephone call Wednesday, Medvedev and Israel’s prime minister discussed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and bilateral ties in light of the conflict between Russia and Georgia, the prime minister’s spokesman said, according to Israel Radio.

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