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Lavrov: Russia ready to coordinate humanitarian assistance to Syria with Western coalition

January 20, 18:45 UTC+3
According to the Russian Foreign Minister, Russia and the United States are not planning to postpone the inter-Syrian talks till February
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

© EPA/ENNIO LEANZA

ZURICH, January 20. /TASS/. Russia is ready to coordinate humanitarian assistance to Syria with the coalition led by the United States, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday after a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

"We have confirmed the necessity to solve humanitarian problems in Syria," Lavrov said. "We said Russia’s Aerospace Forces, while planning their operations, take into account the programs implemented in Syria by humanitarian institutions of the UN and the ICRC."

"We said we will be ready to coordinate our actions more closely with the American coalition in that sphere as well," he said.

UN Security Council resolution on Syria remains basis for forward movement

The December resolution of the UN Security Council on the Syrian settlement remains the basis for forward movement, Sergey Lavrov went on to say.

"The main thing is that we made a firm conclusion: UN Security Council Resolution 2254 remains the key basis for forward movement," Lavrov noted.

"We discussed practical steps to ensure steps to declare a ceasefire, which will not cover the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations — they remain our enemies," he added.

According to the Russian Foreign Minister, Russia and the United States are not planning to postpone the inter-Syrian talks till February.

"Many days are left till the end of January. We are not thinking of postponing the start of the talks from January till February. This is the position of the US and Russia," Lavrov said after the talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

In Sergey Lavrov's words, Russia, the United States and other participants of the International Syria Support Group will not directly take part in intra-Syrian talks on political settlement.

"Certainly, Russia, the United States and other participants of the International Syria Support Group will not take part in these talks between the Syrian government and Syrian opposition," Lavrov said.

"We will support these talks in forms which will be the most useful for Syrians to reach agreements on how they will jointly solve tasks of the transitional period, on which new constitution they will have, how to prepare for early elections, and many other things," he added.

A process of the political settlement of the ongoing conflict in Syria will begin this month, Sergey Lavrov said.

"We hope that the political process will start in the nearest future, in January," Lavrov said. "Various dates are on the table but the final decision will be made by the UN Secretary General."

Russia and US firmly stand for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq

Russia and the United States stand for the preservation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq, the Russian Foreign Minister continued.

"We have drawn a common conclusion that various conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa consist in the fact that Russia and the United States firmly stand for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states in the region," the Russian foreign minister said.

"It concerns Syria and Iraq in the first place because arguments can sometimes be heard with regards to these two countries that it would be good to create several states in their place," Lavrov explained.

Joint anti-IS actions by Russia and US remain principal task

The Russian Foreign Minister said that practical implementation of joint actions with the United States designed to fight terrorists in Syria remains the main task. Effective agreements are possible, Sergey Lavrov noted after meeting US Secretary of State John Kerry.

"The main thing, which we discussed, was how to coordinate anti-terrorism actions. The US side had a number of proposals, which are moving in the right direction. But, we think that practical implementation of joint actions and labour division still remain our tasks. We can reach much more effective agreements than just a memorandum, which is simply devoted to procedures that help avoiding incidents. Counter-terrorism remains one of the central directions," Lavrov said.

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