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Russia welcomes Egypt’s refusal to send troops to Syria on US proposal

According to Sergey Lavrov, Egypt has numerously stressed that it will not send its troops outside its territory as its military doctrine stipulates that the armed forces must defend only the borders

MOSCOW, May 14. /TASS/. Russia views positively Egypt’s decision against sending its troops to Syria as was proposed by Washington, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after negotiations between Russian and Egyptian foreign and defense ministers in the 2+2 format on Monday.

"We touched upon this issue in the context of discussing the Syria situation, in the context of discussing actions of the so-called foreign players, including, of course, the United States, because it is precisely its idea to invite Arab countries to send their contingents to the Syrian Arab Republic," the Russian foreign minister said.

"As I understand, this is done for the dual purpose: on the one hand, to share responsibility for the direct and gross violation of the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Syria, which did not invite the United States and other participants of the US-led coalition to its territory, and the second goal is to share the financial burden," Russia’s top diplomat said.

"Washington is talking directly and openly about this. I believe everyone understands what stands behind this invitation and we appreciate the position assumed by Egypt," Lavrov said.

"We discussed this issue as part of the general discussion. Egypt has numerously stressed that it will not send its troops outside its territory as the Egyptian military doctrine stipulates that Egypt’s armed forces must defend only the borders. We discuss such issues only from the theoretical point of view as possible steps," Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said.

Some Western media outlets earlier reported about a possible dispatch of Arab armed forces, including from Egypt, to Syrian districts controlled by the United States instead of the US military contingent present there for the purpose of assisting stabilization in the country’s northern part after the defeat of the Islamic State terrorist organization (outlawed in Russia).

Commenting on this information, Shoukry stated that Egypt did not consider sending a military contingent to Syria as part of the US initiative.