Syria: Russia and Turkey support Syria's integrity — Russian FM Lavrov meets with Syrian counterpart al-Muallem

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem held a joint press conference in Damascus on Monday. The press conference came after the Russian delegation including Lavrov and Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov met with al-Muallem and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to discuss the Syrian presidential elections and other regional issues. «The presidential elections will be held as scheduled next year,» said al-Muallem, adding that the talks on the constitution «have nothing to do with the presidential elections.» Commenting on the situation on the ground, the Russian foreign minister, in turn, assured that «Russia and Turkey will respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and will not approve of any separatist tendencies,» adding that this is stated in Syria-related agreements including those of the Astana process. Addressing the topic of alleged relocation of the Russian soldiers from Syria to Libya, Lavrov said, «Both in terms of Libya and other countries — from Africa to Europe, to the United States — some accusations are constantly being made against the Russian Federation,» adding, «We have never been presented with any facts.»

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