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Russian, US top diplomats discuss cooperation on Syria, North Korea

July 21, 2018, 18:15 UTC+3
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MOSCOW, July 21. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed in a phone talk the two countries’ cooperation in solving Syria’s humanitarian issues and in efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

"The Foreign Minister and the Secretary of State discussed the situation inside Syria and beyond [its borders], including possible cooperation of Russia and the United States alongside other countries in solving humanitarian problems in the Syrian Arab Republic and the tasks aimed at backing the efforts to advance denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," the ministry said.

On Thursday, Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva, said that the summit meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump had been a watershed moment for advancing efforts to resolve the Syria conflict.

On Friday, Pompeo told reporters after a closed-door meeting at the UN Security Council, "there was a discussion between President Trump and President Putin about the resolution in Syria and how we might get the refugees back."

In December 2017, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution toughening sanctions against North Korea. The document further restricts supplies of crude oil and oil products and insists all countries expel North Korean labor migrant in a span of 24 months. The resolution envisages other restrictions that concern exports of industrial equipment, heavy machinery and transport vehicles to North Korea and imports of North Korean commodity. In 2017, the UN Security Council approved imposing three sets of restrictions on Pyongyang in response to its missile and nuclear tests.

On June 12, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un held a historic meeting - the first-ever between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader - in Singapore. They signed a joint statement, pledging to implement the stipulations in the document fully and expeditiously. North Korea committed to work towards denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in return for security guarantees from the United States.

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