Kremlin refutes reports that pro-Iranian pullout from Syria will top Putin-Trump talks

IRNA – Pullout of pro-Iranian forces from Syria will not be discussed in an ongoing meeting between presidents of Russia and the United States, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

Peskov repudiated media reports, which claimed that the withdrawal of pro-Iranian forces from Syria would top the agenda of a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump, according to Russian Tass News Agency.

‘In this particular case, either Kommersant’s or Bloomberg’s sources failed them. That’s what I can answer,’ he said when asked to confirm information provided by some sources who said that agreements on the withdrawal of the Iran-backed forces from Syria could be the key issue at the upcoming meeting between the Russian and US leaders.

The Kremlin spokesman noted though ‘that the Syrian issue will be a topic to exchange views on.’ ‘That’s certainly easy to foretell. At any rate, the Russian side is getting ready, and Putin is prepared to discuss the topic of Syria. However, reports that two countries are discussing a third country and are making some decisions for it – that’s highly unrealistic,’ Peskov said. ‘That’s why these reports are not true.’

Speaking about the upcoming Russian-US summit, the Kremlin spokesman noted that ‘preparations are underway.’ ‘The bulk of the work is being done by the Foreign Ministry and other agencies, which potentially have something to do with those issues, which will be on the agenda,’ he said, expecting that the two leaders will conduct a news conference after their meeting.

According to Peskov, ‘the mere fact that President Putin and [President] Trump are ready for this meeting and are gearing up for it is a positive sign.’ ‘Given the dire state of our bilateral relations, any meeting like this is of unique significance and plays a special role,’ he stressed.