The Syrian President, Hafez Al-Assad, arrived in Moscow on Monday (15 October), on an official visit to the Soviet Union.
The Syrian President, Hafez Al-Assad, arrived in Moscow on Monday (15 October), on an official visit to the Soviet Union. He is due to hold talks with the Soviet leadership on Middle East and bilateral relations. President Assad is also expected to ask the Soviet Union for more arms to strengthen its anti-israeli task force -- particularly in the air. Syria has lost nine Soviet-built Mig-21's in aerial combat over Lebanon.
SYNOPSIS: President Assad was greeted on arrival in Moscow by soviet Prime Minister, Alexei Kosygin, and Foreign Minister, andrei Gromyko. But soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev, was not at the airport -- an unusual departure from the normal Kremlin protocol towards visiting heads of state.
Syrian officials in Damascus said it was unlikely that President Assad would meet Mr. Brezhnev, because the Soviet leader was ill. The Syrian officials said Mr. Brezhnev had been feeling unwell since returning from a visit to East Berlin, where he had delivered a major speech on October the eighth President Assad was accompanied on the visit by his ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Culture ruling Arab Socialist Baath Party, and a member of the Progressive Front -- which includes all Syrian political parties.