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Mattis: Russia Cannot Replace US in Mideast

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Local Editor

Russia is no replacement for the United States in the Middle East following Moscow's military intervention in Syria, according to US War Secretary Jim Mattis.

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

Mattis 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 war in Syria.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was to host Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Istanbul for talks on the Syrian conflict.

It will be the first summit to bring together the Turkish and Russian leaders with the European Union's two most significant national leaders.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team