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Mubarak, Medvedev share "identical" views on Mideast issues

CAIRO, June 23 (KUNA) -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday that they have identical views on almost all issues of common concern, notably the Middle East question.
Speaking to reporters after the summit talks with his host, Medvedev, who started a visit to Egypt on Tuesday, said the talks dealt with various regional and international issues including the Middle East conflict and Iran's nuclear program, as well as African issues.
He appreciated Mubarak's efforts to build confidence among the different parties in the Middle East, renewing Russia's commitment to host a Middle East peace conference before the end of 2009.
"We pay special attention to Middle East issues," Medvedev said, adding, "We highly appreciate efforts by the Egyptian president to create an atmosphere of trust and cooperation in the region." "We plan to hold the (proposed) Middle East conference (in Moscow) before the end of the year ... We hope the conference will also contribute to achieving this goal (confidence building)," he added.
Medvedev hailed as "friendly" the tune and atmosphere of the summit talks, saying that the talks touched on the current global financial crisis and suggests reforms to the international financial system.
Regarding the bilateral ties, he said he and President Mubarak have inked strategic partnership agreement that outlined the long-term targets of cooperation between Russia and Egypt.
The bilateral trade volume between the two countries has hit USD 4.5 billion in 2008, or five times the figures of few years ago, the Russian leader noted.
He highlighted the huge potentials of mutual investments and economic cooperation between the two sides especially in the domains of energy, nuclear energy, communications and satellite communications, hi-tech industries, environment, and astronomy.
Russia can work effectively with Egypt to protect environment and combat the illicit narcotic trade as well as oil and gas explorations, Medvedev went on to say.
Mubarak, on his part, reaffirmed Egypt's backing for Russia's bid to hold a Middle East peace conference and for any international efforts aiming to achieve just, permanent and comprehensive peace in the region.
"The Russian Federation plays an essential role within and outside the international Quartet on the Middle East," the Egyptian leader pointed out.
"Today's expanded talks, which have been held behind closed doors, focused on the peace process in the region as well other regional and international issues of common concern such as the food and energy security, the ways to reform the international financial, economic and trade systems," he disclosed.
"The Egyptian-Russian consultations will be resumed on the sidelines of the G-8 summit, due in Rome next month," Mubarak added. (end) sm.ez.gb KUNA 231749 Jun 09NNNN