Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pose for a photo prior to the talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on Jan. 11, 2020.
Pavel Golovkin––AP
By Associated Press
January 11, 2020

(MOSCOW) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Moscow on Saturday for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid growing tensions in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Merkel and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas traveled to the Russian capital for discussions about international hot spots such as Iran, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Ukraine. Merkel met with Putin in the afternoon.

Earlier in the week, the German leader’s spokesman described Russia as “indispensable when it comes to solving political conflicts” due to its status as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council.

“Russia is an important player on the world stage, and as a permanent member of the (U.N.) Security Council it’s also indispensable when it comes to solving political conflicts,” Steffen Seibert, the chancellor’s spokesman, said earlier in the week while previewing the visit.

Germany is currently a non-permanent member of the Security Council.

Germany and Russia are among the world powers that have been trying to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran after the United States withdrew from the agreement unilaterally in 2018.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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