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Russian diplomat calls on US to heed signal about curtailing military presence in Syria

The diplomat recalled that the legitimate government in Damascus had not invited the US to Syria, nor had the UN Security Council issued any relevant resolutions

MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. Russia hopes that the United States will finally heed Moscow’s and Damascus’ signals concerning reduction of its military presence in Syria, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday.

"It is obvious for us that this presence has an illegal aspect that runs counter to the fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter. The legitimate government in Damascus has not invited the United States to the Syrian territory and there have been no resolutions on that matter from the United Nations Security Council as the only body that can legitimize it," he stressed.

"So, everything the United States is doing in Syria in terms of its military presence is illegal. We say it quite unequivocally in our contacts with the Americans," he stressed. "Regrettably, they keep sticking to their stance."

According to the diplomat, Russia doesn’t see how such presence can help stabilize the situation. "We would like to hope that in the long run the United States will heed the signals coming from us and from Damascus and will implement the plans of curtailing its military presence in Syria that were announced at the highest level," he added.