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    Lavrov: Russian arms supplies to Syria won't escalate Middle East conflict

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    MOSCOW, June 29 (RIA Novosti) - Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that Russian missile systems supplies to Syria would not escalate the conflict in the Middle East.

    "Syria, like other countries, has a legitimate right to self-defense," Lavrov told al-Watan al-Arabi magazine. "By supplying weapons we are not doing anything to bring instability in the Middle East."

    Lavrov made it a point that Russian-Syrian cooperation was not aimed against third countries.

    "Cooperation in the military-technological sphere has been based on traditions and has developed in compliance with our international obligations," he said.

    Lavrov said some of Russian companies had sent their employees to Iraq to rebuild energy facilities.

    "Their number will grow when security has been improved," he said.

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