Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, greets German Chancellor Angela Merkel during their meeting at Putin's residence in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Friday, May 18, 2018. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Friday that European countries should help Syria rebuild if they want refugees to return to the country. Speaking with Merkel in the southern Russia city of Sochi, Putin called for the reconstruction of Syria to be depoliticized.Merkel said she was worried about a new property law implemented by the government of Syria, which is backed by Moscow.The two leaders also pledged to relaunch the political peace process in Syria.Moscow has argued its troops have deployed to Syria on its government's invitation, while the military presence of the U.S. and others has been illegal.Tensions are high in Syria after several Israeli bombing raids in recent weeks on regime positions, as well as on military instillations reportedly used by government ally Iran.
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