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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Iraq Tops Putin's Talks With Abdullah

King Abdullah of Jordan and President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called for an end to the international isolation of Iraq, saying it would help stabilize the entire Middle East.

During 90 minutes of one-on-one talks in the Kremlin, the two men also discussed spiraling violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

The talks were later expanded to include ministers and discussions on trade and investment.

Abdullah said he and Putin had agreed that a solution must be found to the "tragic situation" of the Iraqi people, now in the 11th year of UN sanctions imposed after Iraq invaded neighboring Kuwait in 1990.

Putin said only "political-diplomatic" efforts could resolve the long-running international standoff with Iraq over sanctions.

"Arab countries should play a strong and positive role in unblocking the situation as regards Iraq," Putin said. "That would help stabilize the situation in the entire region."

King Abdullah, who was later to travel to Putin's home town, St. Petersburg, also said Russia's peacemaker role in the conflict between Palestinians and Israel was "greatly appreciated."

Meanwhile, Lyudmila Putin and Jordan's Queen Rania visited the Women's Business Center in Moscow, where they were shown the center's work in combating women's unemployment, Interfax reported. The leaders' wives saw a display of products made by the center's graduates.

One graduate, who runs a small business making clothing decorated with handmade lace, gave the two women lace scarves as gifts — in beige for Lyudmila Putin, and burgundy for Queen Rania.

(MT, Reuters)