среда, 3 декабря 2008 г.

Russia's Medvedev seeks nuclear cooperation with Bahrain


MOSCOW, December 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told the king of Bahrain on Tuesday that the countries should develop peaceful nuclear cooperation and boost economic contacts.

Medvedev and King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa met in the Kremlin, the first meeting between the countries' heads of state.

"There are unlimited opportunities here, as trade has not yet reached significant volumes. We need to strengthen dialogue and develop relations between companies," Medvedev said after the meeting. He also said the sides had discussed aluminum production and energy projects.

The president said that cooperation between the countries' leading banks could open up new mutual investment possibilities.

The king of Bahrain told Medvedev he admired the strong economic progress Russia has made in recent years, and wished the country success in strengthening its global position. He also voiced his backing for the upcoming Moscow Mideast conference.

"We welcome the idea proposed by Russia to hold an international Mideast conference in Moscow early next year, and support the Russian authorities' attitude to solving all problems exclusively by political and diplomatic means," the Bahraini king told reporters after the talks.

The conference is expected to be held next spring, by which time new leaderships will have come to power in the U.S. and Israel, which is set to hold a general election on February 17, 2009.

Summing up their talks, the Russian and Bahraini leaders adopted a joint statement on strengthening bilateral ties, and signed a memorandum of bilateral nuclear cooperation.

Sergei Kiriyenko, Russia's nuclear power chief, said after the talks between the heads of state that Bahrain is seeking to build a small-capacity nuclear power plant. The two countries plan to form several working groups, train personnel for bilateral nuclear projects, and hold consultations on nuclear legislation, he said.

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