Spanish premier and Russian president to discuss Iran and Prophet drawings

The Iran nuclear debate and the crisis over caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad were on the agenda Thursday for a meeting between Russia's president and Spain's premier, an official said.

Vladimir Putin and Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will also discuss a naval agreement between the two countries, a Spanish government spokeswoman said. They were also expected to talk about terrorism and ways of boosting economic ties, and sign a series of accords covering judicial cooperation, drug trafficking, tourism, agriculture and space technology.

Putin meets with Spain's prime minister just before noon (1100 GMT), and both leaders planned to hold a news conference later in the day.

Before meeting Zapatero, Putin will visit the Senate, officials said. Putin is on a two-day state visit to Spain, his first as Russia's president, reports the AP.

I.L.