17:38 GMT23 November 2020
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    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) – Russia cannot force Iran to leave Syria where his presence is in line with the international law and plays an important role for combating terrorism in the country, Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov told the Channel Ten broadcaster on Monday.

    "We cannot," Viktorov said answering a question on whether Russia can force Iran to leave Syria. He pointed out the Iranian role in combating terrorism in the war-torn Arab republic.

    "They [Iran] play a very important role in our common and joint efforts on elimination of terrorists in Syria. That is why currently we think that any demands to withdraw any foreign troops from the Syrian Arab Republic are unrealistic," the ambassador said.

    The Russian ambassador also said that Moscow was not welcoming the Israeli airstrikes on Syria.

    "[However] we cannot dictate how Israel should act. It is not Russia, which can provide Israel with a freedom to do something or ban it from doing something," Viktorov added.

    Iran as well as Russia and Turkey are guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire regime and participants of the Astana reconciliation process. Both Moscow and Tehran are supporting incumbent Syrian President Bashar Assad and acting in the country on his request.


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