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Putin hosts aide to Iran's supreme leader amid Syria talks

AP  |  Moscow 

Russian today received the Iranian leader's top hours after conferring with the Israeli about Iran's presence in

The Kremlin said that has met with Ali Akbar Velayati, a to Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but wouldn't offer any details of the talks.

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said that Velayati handed letters from Khamenei and Iranian

Peskov said in a conference call with reporters that the letters dealt with bilateral relations and the situation in the region, but refused to elaborate.

Velayati's visit came hours after Putin hosted Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu, who reaffirmed the Israeli demand for the Iranian withdrawal from

"Our opinion is known that needs to leave that is not something new for you," Netanyahu said at the start of Wednesday's talks in the Kremlin.

has teamed up with to shore up Syrian Bashar Assad's government, but their interests do not always converge. also has maintained warm ties with and demonstrated a readiness to take its security interests into account.

The Iranian presence in Syria is expected to top the agenda of Monday's summit in between Putin and US President

Both the US and want to pull out from Syria, but has warned it would be unrealistic to expect to fully withdraw from the country.

A possible deal could see Syrian troops replacing Iranian forces and its proxy Hezbollah militia in the areas near the Israeli-occupied

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 22:35 IST
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