Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya has defended the "legitimacy" of the Russian presence in Syria, stressing that everyone, including the Iranians, Turks and others, should eventually leave that country.
“Russia’s presence in Syria is legal. It is there on the request of the legitimate government to assist it in countering the terrorist threat. Iran, by the way, is present there legally too. No one else was invited, as we all know. All those who are present in Syria without invitation, should eventually leave the country,” Nebenzya said in an interview.
“I think we will eventually go too when time is right and when the conditions are ripe, and we will do this in consultation with the Syrian government. Iranians are there legitimately too because they were invited. They will go when the Syrian government decides their assistance is no longer necessary,” he added.
Nebenzya indicated that all powers will leave when Syria becomes stable, however, he noted that “there are parties in Syria who were never invited there, like the US, the French and some others.”
Regarding Turkey’s presence in Syria, Nebenzya said it “ is an important partner in the Astana Process, in the process of the Syrian settlement. Turkey has its own concerns regarding its security. But, of course, we believe that eventually they will have to leave Syria as any other foreign presence in the country.”