Russia wants Tunisia to support Syria's return to AL: FM

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Lavrov made the comment at a joint press conference after talks with his Tunisian counterpart Khemaies Jhinaoui, Russian news agency Sputnik reported.

TUNIS, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Russia would like to see Tunisia's support for the return of Syria to the Arab League (AL), said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during his visit to Tunisia on Saturday.

Moreover, the two ministers agreed to strengthen cooperation in several fields, especially in counter-terrorism.

"We would like Tunisia to support the process of reinstatement of Syria in the Arab family, in the Arab League, especially since the next Arab League summit will be held here in March," Lavrov was quoted as saying.

For his part, the Tunisian foreign minister said that it is important to include Syria in the discussions at the AL meetings, and the AL will make a decision on Damascus' membership in March.

The two top diplomats also discussed the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland, during which Lavrov said that his country will appreciate Tunisia's efforts to facilitate the repatriation of Syrians in Tunisia to their country of origin, according to the report.

"Today we agreed to intensify our anti-terrorist cooperation both within the framework of the United Nations and bilateral contacts," said Lavrov.

AL Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said earlier that all Arab states need to reach a consensus to re-admit Syria into the organization.

Lavrov's visit to Tunisia was part of his trip to the Meghreb countries which also included Morocco and Algeria.