Turkish delegation to discuss US troop pullout from Syria in Moscow, says Lavrov

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MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. US troop pullout from Syria will be on the agenda of negotiations Turkey’s official delegation will discuss in Moscow on December 29, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a joint news conference following talks with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi on Friday.

“We approach Ankara’s plans for conducting more anti-terrorist operations in eastern Syria from the standpoint of uprooting the remnants of terrorism in Syrian territory and restoring the territorial integrity and sovereignty of that country. We will discuss the situation that is taking shape in connection with the United States’ declared troop pullout from Syria with Turkey’s foreign minister and defense minister in Moscow on December 29. We will tell you afterwards what we’ve talked about,” Lavrov said.

He stressed that the purpose of all Syrian settlement efforts Russia was exerting alongside Turkey, Iran and other countries, including the United States, was clearing Syria of terrorists and creating conditions for the beginning of a political process that would bring about the restoration of peaceful and safe life for all ethnic and religious groups in Syria, “including the Kurds, of course.”

On December 19, US President Donald Trump declared his decision to begin the withdrawal of US troops from Syria. To explain this measure he said that victory over the Islamic State gangs (outlawed in Russia) had been attained and the war on terrorism had been the sole reason for the presence of US forces in Syria. After that Turkey stepped up preparations for a new military operation in northern Syria against the Kurdish People’s Self-Defense Forces.

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