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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) at the guest house Meseberg Palace in Gransee, Germany August 18, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

(reuters_tickers)

MESEBERG, Germany (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that everything must be done for Syrian refugees to return to their conflict-torn country.

Speaking ahead of talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel outside Berlin, Putin said that Syria needed assistance to rebuild and to ensure that refugees who had fled the country could safely return to their homes.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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Reuters