Ahmadinejad to head to Russia for gas conference, Syria talks

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will attend next week’s summit of the world’s biggest gas suppliers in Moscow and also hold talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

“Ahmadinejad will travel to Russia next week to attend the Gas Exporting Countries Forum and hold talks with Mr Putin,” ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi told reporters.

Araqchi said Ahmadinejad will discuss a number of issues, including the situation in conflict-stricken Syria.

Both Tehran and Moscow have staunchly backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the more than two-year conflict that has claimed nearly 100,000 lives.

According to the GECF website, the meeting will be held in Moscow on Monday, the second such meeting in two years.

Leaders of the world’s biggest gas suppliers ended their first summit in Doha in 2011 by reiterating the need for a fair gas price.

GECF has been working for a fair price for gas but denies it aims to control prices or become a cartel like the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Gas prices are currently determined either in long-term contracts between sellers and buyers, which some exporters index to oil, or on spot markets.

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