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Russia Denies Talks with Syria on Arms Sale


Russia is denying it is negotiating with Syria to sell Damascus missiles that Israel says will further disrupt stability in the Middle East.

Russian foreign affairs committee lawmaker Mikhail Margelov Thursday said Russian and Western news reports of the pending sale are, " a myth." Wednesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov also rejected the reports, after meeting with U.S. officials in Washington.

Moscow's Kommersant business daily said the proposed deal centers on the sale of 18 surface-to-surface missiles capable of hitting anywhere in Israel.

Israel's Channel 2 television said the deal would include (SA-18) shoulder-fired missiles which Israeli officials fear could fall into the hands of anti-Israel militants in southern Lebanon.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is slated to visit Moscow next week.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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