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Hammond Says Russia’s Presence In Syria Reinforces Assad

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (file photo)

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said that Russia’s presence in Syria reinforces President Bashar al-Assad and "increases their moral responsibility in crimes committed by the regime."

In an interview with the French daily Le Monde on September 25, Hammond said that Russia’s military build-up in Syria “complicates the situation.”

Hammond also said that Assad must go and cannot be part of Syria’s future.

"If we reach a deal on a transition authority and Assad is part of it, then it will be necessary to talk with him in his capacity as an actor in this process," he said.

Hammond held talks with his French and German counterparts in Paris late on September 24.

Based on reporting by Reuters