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Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesperson comments situation in Middle East

August 22, 2013, 15:40 UTC+3

Alexander Lukashevich touched on such topics as chemical weapons use in Syria, Egyptian crisis and Iraninan nuclear issue

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Photo ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

Photo ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, August 22 (Itar-Tass) - Russia hopes that the talks between Iran and the Sextet (six countries mediating in Iran’s nuclear programme) will have talks shortly, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

“We expect Iran and the Sextet to express readiness to continue the dialogue shortly,” Lukashevich said.

“We laud any Iran’s actions, which will help strengthen cooperation to search for mutually advantageous solutions to the problem,” the diplomat said.

Moscow hopes that Iran’s intention to take a transparent and flexible approach at the talks “will be vital”, the spokesman said.

At the same time, he said the Iranian leaders had not taken a final decision to appoint a chief negotiator at the talks “that is why we can’t confirm rumours saying the foreign minister takes this position”.

Speaking on the Syrian crisis, the Foreign Ministry's spokesman also expressed hopes that the work of the U.N. mission in Syria will help disperse different speculations on the use of chemical weapons. “The Syrian government confirmed that it was ready to cooperate with U.N. experts,” Lukashevich added.

“On August 19, U.N. experts arrived in Syria and started working. All problems are being coordinated with the Syrian authorities in a calm and constructive atmosphere,” he said.

“The Syrian government confirmed that it was ready to cooperate with U.N. experts, provide logistic support and get access to what is related to the incident in Khan al-Asal,” Lukashevich said. “We believe that U.N. specialists will conduct an unbiased investigation. We hope that the results of their work will make it possible to clarify the question that creates a positive climate to launch a political process,” he concluded. 

As for the current situation in Egypt, Alexander Lukashevich noted that “Moscow hopes that the Egyptian people succeeds in settling disagreements.”

At the same time, he said, “Russia has maintained and maintains contacts with Egypt.” These days both countries will mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

“The Russian Foreign Ministry’s recommendations to refrain from trips to Egypt remain unchanged,” the diplomat said.

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