Today, Pentagon Chief Jim Mattis told Saudi leaders that Russia is not a replacement of United States in the Middle East following military intervention of Moscow in Syria.
In a meeting at Manama, Bahraini capital, Mr. Mattis said, “Russia’s presence in the region cannot replace the longstanding, enduring, and transparent US commitment to the Middle East.”
Mr. Mattis was speaking as Russian President Vladimir Putin was to hold talks in Istanbul with France leaders, Turkey and Germany on Saturday in the motive to get a lasting political solution to 7-years Civil War in Syria.
Russia supports the regime of President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey backs rebel seeking to oust leaders of Syria.
Mr. Mattis said to IISS Manama Dialogue that Moscow’s “opportunism and willingness to overlook Assad’s criminal activities against his own people evidences its lack of sincere commitment to essential moral principles.”
He continued that support of Iran for the Syrian regime “coupled with Russia’s repeated vetoes of UN Security Council Resolutions, is the leading reason Assad remains in power.”
President of Turkish, Recep Tayyip Erdogan to host Russian President Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron for the summit on conflict, which reports that over 360,000 people, was killed since 2011.
Today’s summit will be the first one to bring Russian and Turkish leaders together with the European Union’s two most important national leaders.
President Erdogan spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin yesterday said that the main objective would be to “clarify the steps to be taken for a political solution and to determine a roadmap.”