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Putin Hosts Egyptian President In Moscow --> 28 May 2004 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Moscow today for talks on bilateral relations and the situation in the Middle East and Iraq.

Putin told Mubarak that Russia regards Egypt as "one of its foremost partners."

"Egypt is a country with which Russia has had close relations for many years, and we regard Egypt as one of our foremost partners, especially in Middle Eastern and African affairs," Putin said.

Mubarak, in turn, said Egypt wants to preserve traditionally close ties with Russia.

The talks were expected to focus on ways Russia and Egypt could help bring to an end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Russia, along with the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union, is one of the sponsors of the Mideast peace process, known as the road map.

The presidents were also expected to discuss bilateral ties and enhanced Russian cooperation with the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

Mubarak's visit is scheduled to end tomorrow.