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Lavrov hopes Kerry clarifies US position on Syria

June 26, 2013, 18:58 UTC+3

“This is the priority issue that we’d like to discuss with John Kerry", Lavrov said

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MOSCOW, June 26 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hopes that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will clarify Washington’s position on Syria at the meeting in Brunei on July 1-2.

“We wait for John Kerry to explain the U.S. position on the convocation of the international conference on Syria on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Brunei on July 1-2,” Lavrov told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

“This initiative was put forth in Moscow. We agreed that we’d work with the government and the opposition in order to get their consent on the involvement in the conference. We consented that we’d agree on other participants in this event,” the minister said.

“At the moment the situation is that the government confirmed its readiness to send a delegation to Geneva. It stressed that it would do this without any precondition. The opposition is divided. The National Coalition, which the Western partners and the Western countries placed stake on, refuse to go to the conference until Bashar al-Assad resigned and until the military balance was restored on the planet,” he stressed.

“This fact saddens us because if we follow this logic, we query the principles that the conference is based on, i.e. - to convene the conference without any precondition,” Lavrov pointed out.

“I hope that John Kerry will be able to clarify the U.S. approaches. The deputies foreign minister and U.N. representatives met in Geneva on June 25. No answer was received. We failed to agree on the date of the next preparatory meeting within the tripartite format (Russia, the U.S. and the U.N.),” the Russian minister said.

“This is the priority issue that we’d like to discuss with John Kerry. It is obvious that we’ll discuss mutual relations, which develop positively. But there are certain irritants,” Lavrov said.


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