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Russia is vital for political solution to Syrian crisis, German foreign minister says

The Syrian crisis can be solved only with Russia's assistance provided that Moscow wishes to take part in searching for political levers, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in an interview published by Welt Am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday.

"Russia is trying to compensate its insufficient economic influence in the world by military influence. For example, in Syria. If we want to find a political solution to the Syrian conflict, we won't manage to do this without Russia. Russia will get a chance to show that it can take part in conflicts not only militarily and that it can search for political solutions," Maas said.

The search for solutions in these conflicts as a rule is "very and very long," the minister said, noting that at this stage he does not see any preconditions for returning Syrian refugees home because there they will face "repressions and tortures."

"Until this changes, no one wants to come back home and we won't deport anyone who is facing this threat," Maas stated.

Human rights will play a vital role on the path towards free elections in Syria, which should involve all social groups, he said.

[Source: Itar Tass, Berlin, 24Mar19]

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