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Lavrov says Hezbollah, Iranian forces present in Syria at government’s request

April 26, 15:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, April 26. /TASS/. Iranian forces and Hezbollah, just as Russia’s aerospace group are in Syria at the invitation of the country’s government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with his visiting Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir in Moscow on Wednesday.

"As far as the presence of Iran and Hezbollah in Syria is concerned, you know well we do not consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization," Lavrov said. "We proceed from the understanding that both, just as Russia’s aerospace group, are in Syria at the invitation of the country’s legitimate government.

"We know Saudi Arabia’s stance and it is clear that our approaches to this are not identical, to put it mildly," Lavrov said. "But we are unanimous that a settlement of the Syrian crisis requires the involvement of all Syrian parties without any exceptions, and of all foreign actors that can exercise influence on the internal parties. Except for the terrorist organizations declared as such by the UN Security Council, of course."

Lavrov recalled that Iran, just as Russia and Saudi Arabia, was a member of the International Syria Support Group. Besides, Iran had declared its commitment to the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2254.

"Besides, within the framework of the Astana process Iran, alongside Turkey and Russia, is one of the three guarantors of ceasefire, which is of crucial importance at this stage," Lavrov said. 

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