President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation and President Jacques Chirac of France continue to negotiate here in an informal setting since July 19th.
Two rounds of talks were held at Putin's Bocharov Ruchei residence and followed by a 60-minute recess. Both leaders chatted with reporters during that recess. After that, Putin and Chirac talked to each other in the course of a working dinner.
Talking to reporters, deputy presidential-administration chief Sergei Prikhodko noted that the President of Russia saw off his French counterpart to the Radisson-Lazurnaya hotel, after the two-hour dinner wound up.
According to Prikhodko, the two Presidents continued to chat at the hotel's cafe.
International issues, including the Afghan situation and the Mideastern situation, were mostly discussed at dinner, Prikhodko noted. Moreover, Putin and Chirac examined European developments in the field of defense and security, Prikhodko added.
The President of France asked the Russian leader's opinion of the Afghan situation and subsequent regional developments, with due account taken of Russia's involvement in Afghan affairs.
For his own part, Putin listened to Chirac's position on this issue with great interest. Both leaders agreed that the international community must pool its efforts for the sake of settling the regional situation. The Government of Afghanistan, which is headed by Hamid Karzai, must be backed in this connection.
As far as the Mideastern problem is concerned, both Presidents noted that any optimal assessments were still lacking in this sphere, Prikhodko stressed.
Any specific trouble-shooting options are unlikely to be implemented in the near future, Chirac noted; meanwhile the Russian leader agreed with him completely.
Talking about European-security issues, Prikhodko noted that the President of France was Russia's supporter and that he was saying with great interest that the nature of Russian-European relations will largely determine the entire global situation.
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