22:29 GMT26 January 2021
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    Egypt, Iran, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates should also participate in efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is due to meet with top diplomats from the United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in Vienna for talks on a range of global issues, including the Syrian conflict.

    "This is a good group of countries but in order for the maximum impact to be developed, the group must be expanded to include some other countries including Iran, Jordan, Egypt — Egypt is very important — and the [United] Arab Emirates," Churkin told journalists.

    Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011. Forces loyal to President Bashar Assad have been fighting several opposition factions and numerous militant groups, including Islamic State (ISIL).

    On September 30, Russia began conducting precision airstrikes on IS positions in Syria at the request of Assad.

    Since the beginning of the air campaign, Russian Aerospace Forces have carried out some 830 strikes, killing several hundred militants and destroying dozens of command centers, and depots used by the terrorists.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed in September that the time frame for Russia’s campaign in Syria would be limited to that of the Syrian army’s offensive. The Russian leader ruled out the participation of Russian armed forces in a ground operation in Syria.

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    Tags:
    conflict, Vitaly Churkin, Sergei Lavrov, Syria, UAE, Egypt, Iran, Jordan
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