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Russia steps up its game in Mideast diplomacy

The heavy traffic between Moscow and the Middle East after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Russia last week signals that Russia is looking to quickly solidify its relationships with regional partners.
Foreign Ministers, Sergei Lavrov (C) of Russia, Walid al-Muallem (L) of Syria and Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran, attend a news conference in Moscow, Russia, April 14, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin - RTX35J4R
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Since US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit April 12 to Moscow, Russian diplomats and officials have been busy meeting with all the key regional stakeholders in Syria. In just three days, on April 13-15, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hosted in the Russian capital the foreign ministers of Syria, Iran and Qatar.

On April 16, the speaker of the upper chamber of Russia’s parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, traveled to Saudi Arabia.

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