Iran: US presence in Syria ‘must end immediately’

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On Friday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said it was difficult to expect from Washington “a positive role in regulating the situation in Syria”, noting that the presence of US troops in the Arab country “should end immediately.”

The leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran met on Thursday in Tehran to discuss the situation in Syria, particularly in Idlib province.

The US presence in Syria is illegal because it has not been approved by the Assad government and only makes the peace process more difficult, according to the Iranian leader, adding that the anti-terrorist struggle in Idlib province is a crucial step in the Syrian peace process.

“It is evident that the Americans are in Syria illegally and only engage in aggression… The intervention of the United States in Syria has no basis in any rule of international law, its presence aggravates the problem and hinders the establishment of a sustainable peaceful development in the country,” said Rouhani.

In addition, the Iranian president stressed that Tehran will maintain its presence in Syria to “fight against terrorism at the request of the legitimate government of the country.”

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“And the continuation of our presence in the Syrian Arab Republic will be resolved in the future from the same principle,” said the president.

He further supplemented his speech by saying that the Iranian presence “does not serve to impose our will on anyone.”

“We will always support the will of the Syrian people like that of a friendly people… We are fully aware of the concerns of the countries of the region with terrorism and separatism. We believe that cooperation with the legitimate government of Syria is the most effective and sustainable approach, and we are firmly convinced that other approaches, such as direct uncoordinated intervention with the Syrian Army, can aggravate the situation in the country,” Rouhani concluded.

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