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DAMASCUS, September 17 (Itar-Tass) —— A delegation of Russia’s Federation Council, headed by Deputy Speaker Ilyas Umakhanov is arriving in Damascus for talks with the Syrian leadership on Saturday.
As the Russian embassy in Syria has told Itar-Tass, on Saturday evening there is going to be a scheduled meeting with President Bashar al-Assad’s political adviser Bouthaina Shaaban, and on Sunday the Russian envoys will be received by the head of state. In addition, on the same day, there will be meetings with the chairman of the National Council (Parliament) of Syria, Mahmoud al-Abrash, representatives of the parliamentary Friendship Society and the supreme mufti of Syria, Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun. On Monday the Russian delegation will meet with Metropolitan Luke, as well as a representative of the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East Ignatius IV.
In addition, the members of Russia’s Federation Council are going to visit the troubled areas of the country and get acquainted with the situation on site.
During her visit to Moscow on September 12 Bouthaina Shaaban thanked Russia for its constructive approach, noting "convergence of views on all major issues."
"We shall be happy to welcome Russian senators on Syrian soil," she said.