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Kremlin: Tough disagreements between Russia, US on "white and black" lists in Syria

January 20, 2016, 14:02 UTC+3

The sides "are working hard" to reach a compromise, Kremlin spokesman says

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

© Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. "Not everything goes smoothly" in negotiations between Russia and the United States on Syria, and "tough disagreements" persist on "white and black" lists of organizations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

"A lot of work still needs to be done," Peskov said adding that the sides "are working hard" to reach a compromise.

"[The sides] are working hard, and our Foreign Minister [Sergey Lavrov] and US Secretary of State [John Kerry] will hold a meeting. [The sides] are working in other spheres as well but not everything goes smoothly," the Kremlin spokesman noted. He said the lists of Syrian organizations was an example of that. "There are still problems about the lists. Tough disagreements persist on who should be included in the ‘white’ and ‘black’ lists," Peskov said.

Lavrov and Kerry will hold first talks this year in Switzerland’s Zurich later today. The situation on the Korean Peninsula was added to the traditional agenda that includes Syria, Ukraine and Iran. The agreement to hold the meeting was reached after telephone talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama.

Since mid-December, Lavrov and Kerry held four telephone conversations. The last tete-a-tete meeting took place on 18 December 2015 in the framework of the meeting of the International Syria Support Group in New York.

On 18 December 2015 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2254 in support of the Vienna agreements on the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Syria envisages participation of the Syrian opposition and representatives of government in the talks that are due to start in January 2016. The final goals of negotiations are defined as establishing the transitional government, adopting a constitution and holding election in the next 18 months.

The document does not mention Syrian President Bashar Assad whose future remains the main stumbling block. The resolution states that the Syrian people should decide the future of the country.

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