Kremlin sends warm words on Obama's birthday

4th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent his warm wishes to Barack Obama on Wednesday as his US counterpart marked his 49th birthday, a month after a dramatic spy swap between the two countries.

"I affectionately remember my visit to the United States in June and your warm welcome," Medvedev said in a message made public by the Kremlin.

"The accommodating and constructive atmosphere of our meetings had the most favourable effect on me," he said.

"The results of our talks have also been very important. They are proof that our states have a joint will to strengthen their political, economic anhd cultural ties."

Medvedev said that "the systematic development of our agreements (was) the most important thing now".

During Medvedev's visit in late June the presidents insisted that closer trade relations were key for both countries, with Obama telling the Russian leader he would accelerate a dialogue on Moscow's entry into the World Trade Organization, saying "Russia belongs in the WTO."

Washington and Moscow also pledged to cooperate more closely on terrorism, notably by holding joint exercises of their security forces.

"I am sincerely ready to pursue the relations trustfully and to cooperate for the good of our countries and our people," said Medvedev.

Washington announced shortly after Medvedev's visit that 10 Russian agents had been arrested. A spy swap took place at Vienna airport on July 9.

Obama's birthday looked like a muted affair as First Lady Michelle and their youngest daughter Sasha are vacationing in Spain, while older daughter Malia is away at summer camp.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama would be in Chicago later Wednesday and would have dinner with friends.

© 2010 AFP

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