December 19, 2018 / 1:39 PM / 6 months ago

Russia says U.S. presence in Syria is obstructing search for a settlement

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova attends a news conference after a meeting of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi in Moscow, Russia March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/Files

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the presence of U.S. forces in Syria was becoming a dangerous obstacle to finding a peace settlement and accused Washington of keeping its forces there illegally.

“From being a factor in the fight against terrorism, the illegal American presence in Syria is becoming a dangerous obstacle to the path to a settlement,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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