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News Link • Syria

On visit to Syria, Putin lauds victory over ISIS and announces withdrawals

• By Andrew Roth

Along the way, he announced a withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria, presided over the signing of a $21 billion plan to build a nuclear power plant in Egypt, and called President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel "counterproductive" and "destabilizing," a criticism he leveled without mentioning Trump by name. 

The decision could "provoke conflict," he said during a news conference following a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi.

Putin, who declared last week that he would run for a fourth term as president, has largely staked his legacy on Russia's revival as the dominant military power in its region and a counterweight to the West in the Middle East. His tour to shore up bilateral ties comes at a time when U.S. policy in the Middle East is in flux, amid Trump's decision on Jerusalem and apparent support for the rise of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, as well as growing questions about the future role and mission of the U.S. military in Syria. 

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