Assad would welcome Russian naval base expansion in Syria

27/03/2015 (Anadolu Agency – Turkey): Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has told Russian media that Syria would welcome any revival and expansion of Russia’s naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus if Moscow requested it.The Syrian president hailed the presence of Russia as a balance in the Middle East region in an interview with Russian reporters published on Friday, adding that the more visible Russia’s influence in the region was, the more stable the area became.Assad was quoted online by Russian news outlet RT as saying: “We welcome the expansion of Russian presence in [the] eastern Mediterranean, especially near our shores and in our ports.”The Soviet Union established its naval Base in the port of Tartus in the early 1970s and Russian military personnel remained there for more than 40 years before withdrawing in 2013 as a result of the Syrian civil war.The Syrian president said that there was a connection between the Syrian and Ukrainian crises, saying: “Firstly, because both countries are important for Russia.”Secondly, because there is a goal, in both cases, to weaken Russia and create puppet states.”..

http://www.aa.com.tr/en/headline/484851–assad-would-welcome-russian-naval-base-expansion-in-syria

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