US, Germany to Russia: Don't send Assad missiles

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By BRADLEY KLAPPER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. and Germany say Russia must not provide the Assad regime with an advanced air defense system that they believe could prolong Syria's civil war.

Secretary of State John Kerry says Russia's transfer of the S-300 missiles would be "not helpful" while Washington and Moscow try to get the Syrian government and opposition into peace negotiations.

The talks were planned for Geneva next month, but have been delayed until July at the earliest.

After meeting Kerry, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Russia must not "endanger" peace talks. He called weapons deliveries to Assad "totally wrong."

Kerry and Westerwelle spoke a day after Syrian President Bashar Assad claimed his regime received a first shipment of the state-of-the-art anti-aircraft system, which would make foreign intervention in Syria's war more difficult.

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