Jim Mattis says Russia cannot replace US in Mideast


Russia is no replacement for the United States in the Middle East following Moscow's military intervention in Syria, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis told a regional security conference on Saturday.

"Russia's presence in the region cannot replace the longstanding, enduring, and transparent US commitment to the Middle East," Mattis told a meeting in the Bahraini capital Manama.


He was speaking as Russian President Vladimir Putin was due to hold talks in Istanbul with the leaders of France, Germany and Turkey on Saturday seeking to find a lasting political solution to the seven-year civil war in Syria.

 

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