MOSCOW, February 19. /TASS/. The United States is using the Rukban camp located near the Jordanian-Syrian border as a pretext for keeping its illegal military presence in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi.
"We have had a feeling for more than a year that Rukban camp has remained as it is just to give the US a pretext for illegal presence on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, particularly in this part of Syria," Lavrov noted.
According to Lavrov, sustainable settlement in Syria definitely implies the withdrawal of all military contingents illegally staying in the country in accordance with UN Security Council’s resolution, which stresses the need to fully respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Thanks to the efforts of Moscow and Damascus, the impasse in the camp, located in the US-controlled Al-Tanf area, was broken last year and more than 19,000 refugees left it. However, regional UN bodies have been stalling the implementation of a plan on evacuating the remaining Rukban camp’s refugees using various pretexts.