MOSCOW // Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, held meetings on Thursday with Russian president Vladimir Putin, and US secretary of state John Kerry.
In talks at the Kremlin, the Crown Prince and Mr Putin discussed friendship ties and co-operation between the two countries, and regional and international issues of mutual interest, state news agency Wam reported.
Also in Moscow, Sheikh Mohammed and Mr Kerry held similar talks, included in which were ways to enhance the existing friendly ties and cooperation between the two countries.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed, National Security Adviser, were also present. Regional issues, especially the Syrian crisis and efforts at regional and international level to resolve it, were discussed.
The two sides reviewed their efforts as part of the international coalition to fight extremism and terrorism, stressing the importance of continuing efforts to enhance security and stability, regionally and globally.
Among those at the meeting were Ali Al Shamsi, deputy secretary general of the National Security Council; Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority, and Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, undersecretary at the Crown Prince’s Court.
Mr Putin and Mr Kerry met separately in Moscow, where the US diplomat tried to convince Mr Putin to support an end to Bashar al Assad’s rule in Syria.
Mr Putin had warm words for Mr Kerry, thanking him for his “business-like” approach and hailing the US for helping to broker a ceasefire in the war-torn country.
“We understand that what we have managed to achieve on Syria has only been possible thanks to the constructive position of the political leadership in the US,” Mr Putin said.
Mr Kerry lauded the truce and called to “make progress even deeper” towards a lasting political solution to the conflict.
“It’s fair to say, Mr President, that the serious approach with which we have been able to cooperate with one another has made a difference for the lives of the people of Syria,” Mr Kerry said.
“You have made a very critical decision with respect to the drawdown of your forces,” he said, referring to Mr Putin’s partial withdrawal of the Russian forces he had sent to prop up the Assad regime.
Meanwhile, in Geneva on Thursday, Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria, in wrapping up the current round of indirect peace talks, set April 9 as a “target date” for talks to resume.