• Short Summary

    Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin arrived in Damascus on Tuesday (1 June) on his first-over visit to Syria.

  • Description

    Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin arrived in Damascus on Tuesday (1 June) on his first-over visit to Syria.
    Shortly after his arrival, he told reporter that his talks with Syrian leaders wold be aimed at developing and strengthening relations between the two countries in the political, economic and military fields.
    Mr. Kosygin flew to Damascus from Baghdad after some 2,000 Syrian troops, backed by tanks, crossed into Northern Lebanon to end a siege of two Christian villages by the left-wing Lebanese Arab Army.
    He made no reference to the action in his arrival statement but Communist diplomats in Beirut said the Kremlin favoured a political role for Damascus in solving the Lebanese crisis.
    Syrian Premier Mahmoud Al-Ayoubi, who met the Soviet visitor at the airport, expressed "his happiness at receiving Brother Kosygin in Damascus".
    He said the visit would undoubtedly lead to the strengthening of relations "between our two friendly countries in various fields".
    Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad conferred with Mr. Kosygin within a few hours of his arrival in what was descried as a cordial and friendly atmosphere.
    A Syrian spokesmen said the two leaders discussed in a three-hour meeting the impact of the international situation on the Arab world and the promotion of bilateral relations between the two countries.
    Mr. Kosygin's visit to Damascus is seen by officials in Beirut as one of the toughest tests of his diplomatic skills. They say that the more Syria intervenes military in Lebanon the more delicate the Soviet position becomes.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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