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Russian diplomat sees chances for progress in Syrian settlement

February 18, 2016, 14:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW

There are chances for progress and there is a need for joint efforts to do everything so that they are implemented in practice, the high-ranking Russian diplomat says

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Russia is convinced that there are chances for progress in the Syrian settlement and joint efforts are needed to implement this in practice, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said in an interview with TASS on Thursday.

The high-ranking Russian diplomat confirmed Moscow’s principal position in comments to the recent statement of UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond that chances to fulfill agreements reached at the Munich security conference last week were "somewhere close to zero."

"I would not make such pessimistic forecasts as the agreements in Munich have practical result," Gatilov said. "It is most important that political will is shown by both the warring parties and also those key states, first of all the whole region, and others that can have influence on the sides in the conflict and make them enter into a dialogue to launch political settlement in Syria."

"That’s why there are chances for progress and there is a need for joint efforts to do everything so that they are implemented in practice," the diplomat said stressing that Russia "for its part is ready for such a work with all the partners."

The deputy foreign minister noted that the work of task force on humanitarian issues, which was set up in line with the agreements reached at the February 12 meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in Munich, already brings practical results.

The United Nations representatives confirmed that on Wednesday humanitarian convoys left for the besieged towns in Syria, including for Muadamiya, Zabadani and Madaya. "It is important that no difficulties with obtaining permission of the Syrian government for such humanitarian operations occurred," Gatilov stressed.

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