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Russia says withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria won't weaken Assad

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, in this October 20, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/ Files

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the withdrawal of the main part of Russia’s armed forces in Syria would not weaken Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Interfax reported.

Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman, added that the main theme of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Russia next week would be Syria.

Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Dmitry Solovyov

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