BALI, Indonesia, October 7 (Itar-Tass) - The conference on the Syrian conflict settlement will most likely take place sometimes in the second week of November, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stated on Monday after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Kerry said that the final date for the conference should be set by the United Nations, in particular, by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN/LAS special envoy on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi.
“We agreed again there is no military solution here and we share an interest in not having radical extremists on either side assuming a greater position in Syria, and that is why we re-committed today very specific efforts to move the Geneva process as rapidly as possible,” Kerry said. He said both sides would seek to “lay the groundwork for a round of talks.”
“It is our mutual hope that that can happen in November and we are both intent and determined in consultations with our friends in these efforts to try to make certain this can happen in November,” Kerry said, adding: “A final date and terms of participation will have to be determined by the United Nations.”
“John Kerry and I have generally confirmed our determination today to do everything possible to facilitate the efforts to fight terrorism and extremism in Syria,” Russia's Foreign Minister said. According to Lavrov, it is necessary to help those who see Syria’s future as a multi-confessional state.
Russia calling for peaceful resolution
Sergei Lavrov noted that Damascus scrupulously cooperates with international inspectors in eliminating chemical weapons.
“For all these weeks (since accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention) Damascus has been scrupulously cooperating with international inspectors. We hope that it will do so in the future as well,” he said.
“We have no grounds to believe that scrupulous cooperation that the Syrian government is now demonstrating will change somehow,” he said. “The Russian side will do its utmost for such cooperation to continue without any gaps.”
There are sufficient grounds for suspicion that “extremist groups among the opposition may disrupt the process,” Lavrov said.
The diplomat expressed hope that all parties, including Syria’s neighbors, would fulfil requirements of the UN Security Council “to prevent chemical weapons from getting into hands of non-state players” and from using those countries’ territories “for terrorist activity.”
Russia hopes that an international peace conference on Syria dubbed as Geneva II will be held in mid-November, but composition of delegations has to be coordinated, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
“We call for holding the international conference in mid-November,” he said.
Lavrov has urged the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NRC) “to speak with one voice”, making this statement on Monday after talks with John Kerry.
The Russian minister drew attention to the fact that the NRC leader first makes some statements regarding the convening of the Geneva 2 conference, but his supporters subsequently refute these statements.
No pause in US-Russia relations
Sergei Lavrov stressed there was no pause in relations with the United States.
“We focused on bilateral issues, agreed to maintain efforts for removing irritants that had been accumulated of late,” Lavrov said after talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. “We have confidence that if we are guided by the principles of equality and consideration of each other’s interests, we will be able to achieve much for the good of our people.”
“This agreement (on national centres on reducing nuclear threat) was prepared for a summit in Moscow on September 4 that unfortunately, did not take place,” he said. “But our intensive cooperation proves that no pause and cannot be any pause in our bilateral relations.”
The sides have signed a bilateral agreement on National Nuclear Risk Reductio Centers (NNRRC).
In September, Rosatom CEO Sergei Kiriyenko and US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz signed an agreement on joint research in the nuclear sphere. The agreement presupposes interaction on matters concerning new technologies in nuclear power sector, and the safety of the handling of nuclear wastes.
The document, along with the agreement on NNRRC was being prepared for adoption within the framework of a planned visit to Moscow by US President Barack Obama early in September. At the last moment the visit was postponed by the American side.