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No accord within US-led coalition on Syria terrorist threat — Russia FM

October 27, 2015, 15:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to the Russian foreign minister isolated groups of external players are unviable on Syria
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Aftermath of an airstrike by the US-led coalition in Kobani, Syria

Aftermath of an airstrike by the US-led coalition in Kobani, Syria

© AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File

MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. There is no consensus within the US-led coalition on who is the terrorist threat in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

"We urge all our partners - the United States and the region’s countries - to come to uniform understanding who should be regarded as terrorist organisation as there is no such understanding. Neither within the coalition created by the United States," the foreign minister said. According to him, at a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Vienna on October 23 he realised that "there is no consensus within the American coalition on who is the terrorist threat, including on the organisations listed as terrorist by the UN Security Council."

"One of our initiatives suggested that within the framework of the other coming contacts it is necessary to exchange views after all on who is who. It’s the first thing," the minister said. Second: the same way it is necessary to clarify the question who should be regarded as the Syrian political opposition. Because if we all agree that it is necessary to work towards the fulfilment of the Geneva communique, it is written there in black and white that the so-called transitional period is a key to the settlement of all problems. It should be conducted based on mutual agreement between the government and opposition, comprising the full range of the regime’s opponents. Naturally, terrorists are out of the question."

"Therefore, the years after the Geneva communique adoption we have been trying to ensure an inclusive format of the oppositionists who are ready to talk on the issue of the implementation of the Geneva communique, political reforms, including the constitutional reform, on other issues related to overcoming this crisis," Lavrov said.

Isolated groups of external players unviable on Syria

According to Lavrov isolated groups of external players are unviable on Syria.

"There were attempts to establish an isolated club of external players without participation of other key countries that influence the situation ‘on the ground’ in Syria. It is probably easier to make such speculative schemes that are close and understandable for them. Since such schemes face opposition from other countries that promote different positions and approaches, such schemes are artificial, and they are not viable," Lavrov explained.

Moscow hopes Iran will join Syria talks on Friday

The minister noted that he hoped Iran and other countries of the region would join the negotiations on Syria on Friday.

"We hope that not only Iran, but also other countries will be invited to the next round of talks. Reportedly, this Friday," the minister said.

First response in sight from Russia’s contacts with moderate Syrian opposition

According to the diplomat there has been a first response from the efforts to establish contacts between Russia and the moderate opposition in Syria.

"We would like and would be willing to help, as our president put it, not only the army of the Syrian government, but also all opposition forces confronting terrorists ‘on the ground,’ on the territory of Syria. We contacted Americans as the leaders of a respective coalition, even though it was created to work in the skies over Syria illegally without the consent of the Syrian government and the UN Security Council," he said. "We asked the countries in the region to render assistance in getting in touch with the people who may represent the moderate and anti-terrorist opposition in Syria."

"It was hard to achieve them. We are pushing ahead with these efforts. There have been the first responses. I hope that the contacts that may be established will bear fruit," he said.

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