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Russia says West hampers aid to Syria, return of refugees

Russia says West hampers aid to Syria, return of refugees

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has accused the West of trying to obstruct return of Syrian refugees to their country and blocking the U.N. assistance for reconstruction efforts.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks on Monday with his Lebanese counterpart, Gibran Bassil, that the U.S. refusal to provide assistance for rebuilding Syria after more than seven years of fighting hampers refugee return.

He also accused the West of pressuring the United Nations to ban U.N. organizations from helping reconstruction efforts in Syria pending political settlement, saying it violates U.N. principles.

Bassil said that Lebanon fully supports Russian efforts to help Syrian refugees return.

Lavrov also charged that al-Qaida militants located near al-Tanf in southeastern Syria where U.S. military advisers are based have launched raids intended to prevent refugees from coming back from Jordan.

Published at Mon, 20 Aug 2018 11:49:04 +0000