US, Israel concerned over Russian sales of arms to Syria
The United States said on Friday it is "very concerned" over reports that Russia wants to sell weapons to Syria. "We are obviously very concerned about reports that Russia may be providing weapons, weapons systems to Syria," said State Department spokesman Robert Wood.
"We have always said to the Russians that these sales should not go forward, they don't contribute to regional stability and, again, I urge them not to go through with these sales if there is an intent to go through with them," he told reporters, according to AFP.
Meanwhile, Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert plans to visit Russian President Dmitry Medvedev amid concern about the reports Moscow is considering arming Syria with advanced missiles.
According to Reuters, Olmert's spokesman Mark Regev said final details for a visit had yet to be settled. Another government official said the visit would take place in the first half of September.
The Israeli official said Olmert wanted to "find out what Russia is planning to sell". "Depending on the nature of the deal, he may try to block it," the official added. Medvedev telephoned Olmert earlier this week ahead of a visit to Russia by Syrian President Bashar Assad, Israeli officials said.