07:46 GMT +314 November 2018
Listen Live
    Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, in Oxon Hill, Md.

    Bolton Claims Russia 'Stuck' in Syria, Says US Has Leverage in Negotiations

    © AP Photo / Alex Brandon
    Middle East
    Get short URL
    41266

    US National Security Advisor John Bolton claimed that Washington has an opportunity in terms of negotiations as Russia is "stuck" in Syria.

    US President Donald Trump's national security adviser warned Wednesday that Washington will respond "very strongly" if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad uses chemical weapons in an offensive to retake Idlib province.

    "Just to be clear, regime change in Iran is not American policy. But what we want is massive change in the regime's behavior," he said.

    In an interview US national security adviser John Bolton has claimed that Russia was "stuck" and looking for others to fund Syria's post-war reconstruction, which, according to the adviser, gives Washington an opportunity to press Iranian forces to quit the war-torn country.

    "The Russians are stuck there at the moment," Bolton told Reuters during an interview while on a visit to Israel.

    Bolton also said that the United States could consider cooperation with other countries in Syria, but only if only all Iranian forces are withdrawn from the country.

    "We're going see what we and others can agree in terms of resolving the conflict in Syria. But the one prerequisite there is the withdrawal of all Iranian forces back to Iran," National Security Advisor said during the interview.

    Bolton is going to meet his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev in Geneva on Thursday.

    A week earlier, John Bolton claimed in an interview with ABC that Russia, Israel and the United States all want Iranian-backed forces removed from Syria. The Kremlin hasn't yet confirmed this information.

    READ MORE: Putin, Trump Agreed in Helsinki Iran Should Exit Syria — Reports

    Washington, as well as Israel, have been claiming that Iranian troops are present in Syria, however, Tehran has denied the claims, emphasizing that the country’s presence in the Arab Republic is entirely limited to military advisors.

    Related:

    Russia Offers US Cooperation in Restoration of Syria – Report
    State Dept: US to Concentrate on Geneva Peace Process on Syria
    US Redirects $230Mln for Syria Stabilization, to Continue Funding White Helmets
    Tags:
    John Bolton, Iran, Syria, United States, Russia
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik