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Russia’s proposal to US to coordinate strikes in Syria remains on the table — Lavrov

December 19, 2015, 4:57 UTC+3
"Such contacts are ongoing via the militaries with the United States, at the level of General Staff chiefs, at other levels. Contacts are also maintained with France," Russian Foreign Minister said
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UNITED NATIONS, December 19. /TASS/. Russia’s proposal to the United States to coordinate strikes at terrorists in Syria remains in force, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

"Such contacts are ongoing via the militaries with the United States, at the level of General Staff chiefs, at other levels. Contacts are also maintained with France," Lavrov said. "A regular contact with the military of the United Kingdom took place recently."

"I can confirm that regarding coordination of strikes, such our proposal has remained on the table for two and a half months," he said.

"I would like to make only one comment in this connection: we hear our colleagues say let’s start political process so that those who want to oust [Syrian President Bashar] Assad get such hope, then we will be able to coordinate the fight against terrorism with you," Lavrov said.

"It’s sad that we are again making our common task - termination of terror - hostage to the future of one person," he said.

Lavrov said the process of political transition in Syria is possible within 18 months mentioned by the United Nations Security Council’s resolution.

"Not only the Vienna documents, not only the resolution of the Security Council, but the Geneva Communique, which was also confirmed by the resolution, contain the concept of national unity through establishment of a governing body on the basis of mutual consent of the government and the entire range of opposition," he said.

"This concept has never been denied by anyone, it underlies our entire work, it has been developed and detailed in Vienna’s decisions," Lavrov said.

He said that Moscow considers one of the key tasks of United Nations Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura and his team contribution to development of common consent between the government and the entire spectrum of the Syrian opposition. The process, Lavrov said in English, is aimed at creating "credible, inclusive, non-sectarian governance."

Speaking in Russian again, he said: "We do not want that process to last forever, we have agreed milestones."

"We believe it is possible try to reach such an agreement within six months, then there will be development of a new constitution - general recommendations - on the basis of which elections will be held," Lavrov said.

"We believe it is possible to limit the entire political process to 18 months approximately," he said.

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