The anti-terrorist campaign in Afghanistan, Middle East settlement and the Iraqi issue were at the focus of meetings in New York between Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Syria's Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa, says a press release from the Russian Foreign Ministry's press and information department, received by RIA Novosti on Monday. The document notes that when discussing the current anti-terrorist campaign the sides reaffirmed the need to draw up under UN aegis a comprehensive strategy oriented primarily on eliminating the causes of terrorism. During the discussion of the Afghan issue, Ivanov pointed to the "importance of creating in that country a government that would include representatives of all ethnic groups". The need was also stressed of rendering under UN aegis humanitarian aid to the population of Afghanistan. The two diplomatic chiefs also discussed the situation in the Middle East and declared for overcoming the confrontation, stressing the importance of preventing escalation of the conflict. Ivanov and Sharaa expressed commitment to the peace process, based above all on resolutions 242 and 338 of the UN Security Council. The sides confirmed that their strategic goal remains achievement of a just and all-embracing Arab-Israeli settlement.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea