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Russia, Jordanian military agree to coordinate air force operations in Syria — Lavrov

October 23, 2015, 15:43 UTC+3
The Russian diplomat stressed that it is necessary to drastically intensify efforts in the fight against Islamic State
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VIENNA, October 23. /TASS/. The military of Russia and Jordan will coordinate their antiterrorist actions through a working mechanism in Amman, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday after a meeting with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh.

"It is necessary to step up efforts towards the launch of a political process of the Syrian settlement on the basis of the Geneva communique," he said. "It means the launch of large-scale talks between representatives of the Syrian government and the entire spectrum of the Syrian opposition, both internal and external, with active support from international players."

Taking part in efforts to create conditions for such a process, Moscow stands for involving Jordan in those efforts. "We believe Jordan is playing is very important role, bearing in mind the historic factor and the principled position the kingdom is sticking to on the regional problems," Lavrov said.

He said anti-terrorist cooperation between Russian and Jordan would be much closer. "Simultaneously with the political process, we are certain that it is necessary to drastically intensify efforts in the fight against the Islamic State [terrorist organisation outlawed in Russia] and other terrorist groups in Syria," Lavrov said. "Making a contribution to the fulfilment of this task, under an agreement between President Vladimir Putin and King Abdullah II, the Russian and Jordanian military have agreed to coordinate their efforts, including the air force operations over Syrian territory, through the working mechanism in Amman."

"We believe that other states participating in the antiterrorist struggle can also join this mechanism," the Russian foreign minister said.

Unsettled Palestinian problem plays into terrorists’ hands

The Russian foreign minister stated that the unsettled Palestinian problem is playing into the hands of terrorists in the Middle East.

"It is our firm conviction that the decades-old unsettled Palestinian problem is one of the most considerable factors that lets terrorists recruit youth," he said.

The Russian top diplomat said both sides "expressed serious concern over growing strains in relations between Israel and Palestine, especially aggravated tensions at Holy Site in East Jerusalem.

"Russia strongly insists that all agreements on the status of the Holy Sites fixed in the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel and Jordan’s historic role in what concerns the status of the Holy Sites be observed strictly by all parties," Lavrov stressed, adding that efforts towards easing the current situation in Jerusalem were to be accompanied by steps towards resumption of large-scale talks on comprehensive Middle East settlement, "whatever difficult it might be."

Russia FM notes importance of Geneva communique in Syria settlement efforts

The minister also noted the importance of stepping up efforts on settlement in Syria on the basis of the Geneva communique.

"Our common position is that it is important to step up efforts in launching a political process of Syrian settlement on the basis of the Geneva communique," the foreign minister said.

The Geneva communique "envisages the start of large-scale negotiations between the government and all representatives of the Syrian opposition - both internal and external - with the support of international players, Lavrov added.

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