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The Russian president warned over any large-scale militarisation of the Middle East between opposing forces as setting the stage for a global disaster. He explained that “large-scale military conflicts” would be a “catastrophe not only for the region, the Middle East, but for the whole world” that would ultimately lead to “new flows of migrants” to Europe and other regions.

He reasoned that the immensity of the conflict would likely cause “huge damage to the global economy”.

The warnings came during talks with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, in Moscow on Saturday to discuss the tensions that are currently growing in the region.

The talks also covered the issues that have unfolded and the ongoing struggle in Syria, where a fresh ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey is expected to go into effect this morning.

It comes after the last major opposition bastion of Idlib came to a close.

Putin has is attempting to play the role of broker in the Middle East

Putin has is attempting to play the role of broker in the Middle East (Image: GETTY)

It comes as tensions in the Middle East continue to rise

It comes as tensions in the Middle East continue to rise (Image: GETTY)

Putin and Merkel both backed a Libya peace conference in Berlin being organised by the UN special envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame.

This is an event that could begin in the next few weeks.

Putin reacted positively to the news and said the initiative was “timely” and a “very good step in the right direction”.

He said the conference must include “countries that have a real interest in promoting a peace settlement”.

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Fears over a full-scale between Iran and the US have never been higher

Fears over a full-scale between Iran and the US have never been higher (Image: GETTY)

He added that negotiations and any any agreements reached should take place with Libyan sides and with the involvement of Mr Salame.

Moscow has, in recent months, been accused of sending mercenaries into Libya to carry out mass killings, in order to push the political superpower’s influence in the region.

Putin has, however, repeatedly denied claims that his government has sent anyone into the region, instead saying Russian mercenaries found there have gone on their own behalf as volunteers.

He said: “If there are Russians there, they do not represent the interests of the Russian state and do not receive money from it.”

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Many note the unusual approach by Putin to maintain peace between nations

Many note the unusual approach by Putin to maintain peace between nations (Image: GETTY)

Iran had originally pleaded with European powers to condemn the US in its leaving the 2015 deal

Iran had originally pleaded with European powers to condemn the US in its leaving the 2015 deal (Image: GETTY)

Turkey has since sent in troops to support the UN-backed Tripoli government.

Keen to stress his role as a regional powerbroker, Putin said that in Libya, “unfortunately large-scale military action is continuing and terrorist activity is growing”.

He added: “All this undermines stability not only in the region itself but has a negative influence on Europe,” citing drugs and weapons smuggling.

He seemed keen to take a front-runner role in the piecing together of Libya following its ongoing civil war that has largely torn the country apart – a nation that once had the highest standards of living in Africa, free healthcare and free education.

The US has thousands of troops based in and around the Middle East

The US has thousands of troops based in and around the Middle East (Image: Express Newspapers)

It found itself embroiled in civil unrest in 2011 as a string of protests against the then Prime Minsiter, Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi, and consequently his death in October 2011, led to the war.

Since, the oil-rich country has been the departure point of the thousands of migrants travelling to Europe, modern slavery, and the downfall of the capital Tripoli.

Due to the barbaric and often unrecorded nature of the war, final death figures vary hugely, with an estimated 2,500 to 25,000 thought to be dead.

Putin stressed the need to “restart the political process with the final aim of overcoming the split inside the country and forming single state institutions”.

Some say Putin has his eyes on Libya's oil-rich preserves

Some say Putin has his eyes on Libya’s oil-rich preserves (Image: GETTY)

The German leader’s spokesman earlier this week described Russia as “indispensable when it comes to solving political conflicts” due to its status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Both Germany and Russia are among the world powers who have attempted to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran after the US withdrew from the agreement unilaterally in 2018.

Iran continuously pleaded with European powers to condemn the US for its withdrawal – much to no avail – threatening to continue its uranium enrichment programme.

Though, Iran’s chances of reconciling with other world powers could be hurt following the nation’s admission on Saturday that one of its anti-aircraft missiles hit a Ukrainian airliner this week, killing all 176 people aboard.



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