Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Wednesday noted there had been positive cooperation between Moscow and Cairo on resuming flights between the two countries during talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Interfax reported. (Reuters)
A spokeswoman for Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the withdrawal of the main part of Russia's armed forces in Syria would not weaken Syrian President Bashar Assad, Interfax reported.
Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman, added that the main theme of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to Russia next week would be Syria. (Reuters)
Iran's foreign minister has called Russia's decision to withdraw its forces from Syria "a positive sign", while a senior security official said the move was pre-planned and not a surprise to Tehran.
President Vladimir Putin unexpectedly announced on Monday that most Russian forces would be withdrawn from Syria after deploying in September to bolster President Bashar al-Assad. A steady stream of warplanes has flown home since then.
"The fact that Russia announced they are withdrawing part of its forces indicates that they don't see an imminent need for resort to force in maintaining the ceasefire," Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying by Iran's Press TV during a visit to Australia on Tuesday.
"That in and of itself could be a positive sign. We have to wait and see," he added. (Reuters)
Another group of Russian warplanes has taken off from the Hmeimim airbase in Syria, flying back to their permanent bases in Russia, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.