On August 22, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that all foreign forces staying in Syria without an invitation from the Damascus government must leave the country, according to the Russian news agency TASS.
“All foreign forces staying there without an invitation from the Syrian government must be eventually withdrawn,” TASS quoted Lavrov as saying.
Lavrov was commenting on a recent statement of U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, in which he claimed that that Russia is “struck” in Syria and the U.S. has an upper hand in negotiations on the conflict.
Bolton is set to meet his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev in Geneva on August 23 to discuss the Syrian settlement. The U.S. National Security Adviser insists that Iranian forces and Lebanese Hezbollah should withdraw from the war torn country before any political process.
In the last few months, several Syrian and Iranian officials said that Iranian forces will withdraw from Syria only if the Damascus government requests this. Damascus will not likely take such step any time soon due to the hostile policies of the new U.S. administration.