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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Steinmeier Discusses Iran, Energy

Germany's new foreign minister met with President Vladimir Putin and other senior officials Saturday for talks that included Iran's disputed nuclear program and energy supplies.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier's discussions in Moscow were the first top-level meeting between German and Russian officials since the election of the new Berlin government. It was also a test of whether German-Russian relations will cool under Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Putin, who had a close friendship with Merkel's predecessor, Gerhard Schr?der, reassured Steinmeier that bilateral ties remained at a high level, and he hoped that would continue.

He said he and Merkel would likely meet in mid-January in the Siberian city of Tomsk.

Steinmeier told Putin that Merkel's visit underscored the significance of the two countries' ties.

Steinmeier later met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for talks that lasted more than 1 1/2 hours. Speaking to reporters afterward, the diplomats said they had discussed a range of topics, including the situation surrounding Iran's nuclear program.

 Lavrov and Steinmeier sought to calm Poland on Saturday, saying their joint Baltic Sea gas project was not meant to harm Warsaw, Reuters reported.

 Merkel assured Poland on Friday that Germany's desire for close ties with Russia did not mean it would ignore Warsaw's concerns about Moscow, Reuters reported.