Putin to hold talks with Ahmadinejad



Putin to hold talks with Ahmadinejad Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad next week prior to an international round of talks on Iran's nuclear programme, a presidential aide said Sunday.

The meeting will allow Putin to "feel the heat surrounding the Iranian problem and see how this issue is perceived in Tehran", said Yuri Ushakov, an advisor to Putin on foreign policy.

Putin will meet with Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the 12th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit to be held June 6-7 in Beijing.

Iran is an observer nation at the SCO. The meeting will be held before world powers gather in Moscow June 18-19 to discuss Iran's nuclear programme.

"We weren't too happy with the results of the last round of talks, but we determined the mutual readiness to continue the discussion," Ushakov said.

At the Moscow meeting, Russia will "promote the thought that Iran's right to develop peaceful energy under the oversight of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should be approved."

In Beijing, Putin will also meet with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Ushakov said, adding that negotiations with Karzai will be "interesting and useful" for both Russia and Afghanistan.

IANS