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Russia’s State Duma speaker calls for further cooperation with US over Syria

February 19, 2018, 8:57 UTC+3 BERN (Switzerland)

It is up to the Syrian people to define their country’s future, Vyacheslav Volodin reiterated

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BERN (Switzerland), February 19. /TASS/. Moscow made a major contribution to defeating the Islamic State terror group in Syria, but the United States, China, Iran and Turkey also had their role in this effort, Russia’s State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said in an interview with TV presenter Darius Rochebin for Swiss TV channel RTS.

"Certainly, the Russian Armed Forces bore the brunt of this fight. They fulfilled this task honorably," said Volodin, the head of the lower house’s delegation, who arrived on an official visit to Switzerland on Sunday.

The speaker also praised the contacts between Moscow and Washington on Syria. "Together with the Americans we have done a lot to destroy the terrorist state - we had an ongoing dialogue with US security specialists," he stressed.

This effort was also conducted jointly with Turkey, Iran and China. "Together with you we see how the situation in Syria has changed for the better now," the politician said, calling to continue this dialogue.

It is up to the Syrian people to define the country’s future, Volodin reiterated, noting that Russia has always called to preserve Syria’s statehood. "So that the situation in Libya and Iraq does not repeat again," the speaker said.

"We needed to make every effort to curb terrorism in Syria and destroy the terrorist state," Volodin said. "And we fulfilled this task," he stressed.

Speaking about current Russian-US relations, which are at their worst levels now, he said: "Certainly, we want them to become better. But if America thinks it is satisfied with these relations it means that we will live in the framework of these relations."

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