Damascus: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
called in Syria on Tuesday for a more active US role in the Middle
East peace process, saying the situation in the region was
"very bad" and risked worsening further.
Medvedev -- the first Russian head of state to visit
Syria, which was a key Cold War ally -- said Moscow was ready
and determined to play its part in creating the will for a
He promised Russian assistance to Syria in reconstructing
its oil and gas infrastructure and even in building a nuclear
"In essence, the Middle East peace process has
deteriorated," Medvedev said speaking alongside his Syrian
counterpart Bashar al-Assad after two days of talks in
"The situation is very, very bad. It`s time to do
something," the Russian leader said.
"I agree with President Assad -- the American side could
take a more active position.
"A further heating up of the situation in the Middle East
is fraught with an explosion and a catastrophe."
Medvedev`s visit comes against the backdrop of a nearly
18-month-old suspension of Turkish-led peace efforts between
Israel and Syria and a mounting war of words between the two
foes over Israeli accusations that Syria has been arming
Lebanon`s Hezbollah with Scud missiles.