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ROME, August 5 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said the ministerial meeting set for August 6 would focus on military and military-technical cooperation, regional issues, including coalition troops' withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 and the situation in Syria.
Russia will be represented by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Italy by Defense Ministry Mario Mauro and Foreign Minister Emma Bonino.
“This is the format of our bilateral contacts. The defense ministers will discuss military and military-technical cooperation: there is progress in this aspect. It’s natural that we’ll discuss regional issues due to the fact that the meeting will involve the foreign ministers. I’m sure that the ‘Syrian story’ and the ‘Afghan topic’ will be discussed,” Antonov said.
He noted that Russian-Italian military relations developed dynamically. “I’m sure that tomorrow our ministers will sum up the results and determine prospects for further development of relations,” the Russian Defense Minister said.
This will be the third meeting with the 2+2 format. It was set up in May 2010 when the ministers of defense and foreign affairs met in Rome ahead of the Russia-EU summit. The second meeting took place in Moscow in April 2012. The parties proved the readiness to develop mutually advantageous partnership.