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Putin Lauds Iran In First Face-To-Face With Rohani

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) with Iranian counterpart Hassan Rohani in Bishkek.
The presidents of Iran and Russia have held their first face-to-face talks, following the conclusion of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Bishkek.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said after the September 13 meeting that he was pleased to meet Iran's new leader, Hassan Rohani, for the first time.

Putin went on to describe Iran as a "good neighborhood," and praised what he called a "long history of cooperation" between the two countries.

The Russian leader acknowledged that "many issues" remain around Tehran's nuclear program. Western nations accuse Tehran of seeking to develop atomic weapons under cover of its nuclear program, a charge Iran denies.

For his part, Rohani told Putin that his government is ready to cooperate with Moscow in solving regional issues in the Middle East.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service