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Lavrov: Russia and USA will not take part in talks of Syrian government and opposition

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Photo: mid.ru

Russia and the United States have come to an unambiguous conclusion that the UN Security Council December 2015 Resolution 2254 is the main basis for moving forward in the Syrian conflict settlement. The countries discussed certain measures in accordance with the resolution; they are to be taken to provide conditions for announcing a ceasefire, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said after a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Zurich.

He specified that the terror organizations like the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra cannot be subject of the truce talks. “They are still our enemies and we will continue fighting them; it is a war of annihilation,” Lavrov stressed. He also said the parties agreed on coordination of action for settling Syria’s humanitarian issues.

“The key topic of our discussion was coordination of the anti-terror effort, The American side expressed several proposals. … They have in principle the right direction, but we believe that practical implementation of joint measures, division of labor, mutual support in exterminating the terrorists are still our task, and we can find more effective agreements here than a mere memorandum which is already in force and speaks of procedures that allow evading unanticipated incidents. So, the anti-terror activity is one of the central points in the Syrian crisis,” the Russian minister noted.

He expressed hope that the political process will start in the near future – within January. “Various dates are cited, but the final decision is made by the UN Secretary General guided by recommendations of his special envoy for Syria Staffan Domingo de Mistura, who has active ties with all the parties in the Syrian conflict,” he continued. Lavrov stressed that the process was only about to start and will need a lot of time.

He added that neither Russia, the USA nor other members of the Friends of Syria Group will participate in the talks between the Syrian government and opposition, but they will accompany the negotiations in forms that will be most useful for making the Syrians come to agreements on how to solve issues of the transition period, what the new constitution will be like, how to prepare for early elections and many other issues.

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