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January 6, 2020 9:14 am

Putin Invites Merkel to Russia to Discuss Middle East Crisis

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Saturday, June 29, 2019. Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko / Pool via Reuters.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Russia on Jan. 11 for talks with President Vladimir Putin on the crisis triggered by the killing of top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in a US air strike, the Kremlin press service said.

Merkel will make the trip on the invitation of Putin and they will also discuss the situation in Syria, Libya and Ukraine, it said.

Merkel’s spokesman said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas would accompany her on the trip.

Soleimani, viewed as the second most powerful man in Iran, was killed at Baghdad International Airport last Friday by a US drone.

The attack has taken long-simmering US-Iranian hostilities into uncharted waters and stoked concerns about a major conflagration.

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