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Reports Say Israel Trying to Stop Russian Arms Sale to Syria

  • VOA News

Israeli and Russian news reports say Israel is trying to stop Moscow from selling Syria advanced missiles capable of hitting targets across most of the Jewish state. Russia's Kommersant business daily says Syria first asked Moscow two years ago to sell 18 Iskander-E missiles, which have a range of 280 kilometers. The U.S. State Department says it opposes any transfer of lethal weaponry to Syria, which remains on a U.S. watch list of states allegedly sponsoring terrorism. Secretary of State Colin Powell was set to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ivanov later today in Washington. In Jerusalem, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom did not confirm the reports but he said his government has been in recent consultations with Moscow and hopes to reach a necessary agreement. Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander visited Israel today for high-level meetings. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is slated to visit Moscow later this month.
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