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Putin in Tehran for Syria Talks

  • VOA News

Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, meets with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, Iran, Nov. 23, 2015.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, meets with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, Iran, Nov. 23, 2015.

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Iran's Supreme Leader Monday, after arriving in Tehran on a one-day trip to attend a summit of gas-exporting countries in the Iranian capital.

On his first trip to Iran in eight years, Putin met with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Putin is also expected to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Russia's Tass state news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying the meeting between Putin and Khamenei was "very constructive." He said they emphasized that Moscow and Tehran are united in the view that "attempts to dictate scenarios of political settlement in Syria from the outside" are "impermissible."

FILE - Smoke rises after shelling by the Syrian army, after Russian airstrikes, in Damascus, Syria, Oct. 14, 2015.

FILE - Smoke rises after shelling by the Syrian army, after Russian airstrikes, in Damascus, Syria, Oct. 14, 2015.

The visit comes as Russia nears a third month of military engagement in the Syrian conflict. Tehran and Moscow have supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the ongoing civil war that has crippled Syria since 2011 and killed more than 250,000 people. The violence has displaced millions more.

The Russian military launched an air campaign in Syria in late September. While it said it was targeting Islamic State militants, most of its airstrikes were against other groups fighting the Syrian government.

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