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(CNN) -- On his way to the United States, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took time Saturday to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a key ally in the Islamic republic's confrontation with the West.
Ahmadinejad is expected to arrive in the United States on Sunday, the same day as American hiker Sarah Shourd returns home after a 14-month detention in a Tehran jail.
Ahmadinejad discussed Shourd in a televised address Friday, saying that her release was a unilateral gesture made without any promise of a quid pro quo, but that doesn't mean Iranian officials wouldn't appreciate a similar act from the United States.
"We have no expectations," he told IRINN. "But naturally, morally, the expectation would be that the U.S. government would take a step to release a number of Iranians
but that doesn't mean Iranian officials wouldn't appreciate a similar act from the United States.