09:46 GMT27 January 2020
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    Russia’s support for the people and leadership of Syria, in their resistance against terrorist aggression, remains unchanged, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — During a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, Putin said:

    "We see how the situation in Syria related to the aggression of global terrorism develops in a difficult way… We are sure that the Syrian people will ultimately win. And our policies, aimed at supporting Syria, Syrian people and Syrian leadership remain unchanged."

    Syria has been mired in a civil war since 2011, with the government battling several insurgent groups, including the Islamic State and the Nusra Front.

    The United States, as well as its allies, have repeatedly stated they do not regard Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government as legitimate, and have imposed sanctions against him for alleged human rights violations.

    Russia believes that Assad is the legitimate president of Syria, and that the people of Syria must choose their government and leaders without external intervention.

    Russia will support the establishment of an anti-terrorism coalition if Syria considers it appropriate and possible, Vladimir Putin said adding that the establishment of such a coalition will not be an easy task due to difficulties between the countries in the Middle East.

    "But if the Syrian government considers it appropriate and feasible, we shall do everything to support you. And we shall use our good relations with all the countries in the region to attempt to create such a coalition in any way," Putin said in a meeting with the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.

    Putin called on Syria and countries such as Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to join forces in the battle against the Islamic State militant group. Russia is ready to help establish dialogue between the countries, the president said.

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    Tags:
    counterterrorism, support, Vladimir Putin, Walid Muallem, Syria, Russia
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