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Lavrov, Kerry note ceasefire progress in Syria - Russian foreign ministry

March 06, 20:00 UTC+3
Apart from that, Lavrov and Kerry expressed concern over humanitarian consequences of the conflict in Yemen
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© AP Photo/Matthias Schrader

MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry have voiced a positive assessment of the actual progress in ensuring ceasefire in Syria, the Russian foreign ministry said on Sunday after a telephone conversation between the two top diplomats.

"The sides expressed a common positive assessment of the real progress in ensuring ceasefire in Syria, which is generally observed and has helped to dramatically decrease violence," the ministry said, adding that the conversation was initiated by the U.S. side.

The two top diplomats, as co-chair of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), also agreed to take efforts to ensure smooth work of the ISSG task forces on humanitarian issues and on ceasefire via their representatives in Geneva.

The sides also stressed the necessity to prevent delays in the beginning of the intra-Syrian negotiating process brokered by United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

"In this context, Lavrov drew attention to the fact that taking into account the agenda of these talks endorsed by United Nations Security Council resolution 2254 it is vitally important to ensure from the very beginning participation, along with the delegation of the Syrian government, of a wide spectrum of all opposition forces, including Syrian Kurds," the ministry said.

The Russian foreign minister and the U.S. secretary of state noted considerable progress in the situation over humanitarian access to Syria’s besieged regions. "In this connection however, Lavrov focused attention on the fact that United Nations humanitarian convoys were still failing to reach Shia enclaves of Fua and Kefraya," the ministry said.

Apart from that, Lavrov and Kerry expressed concern over humanitarian consequences of the conflict in Yemen.

"The Russian foreign minister and the U.S. secretary of state continued discussion of the ongoing conflict in Yemen and expressed concern over its grave humanitarian consequences. They reached an agreement to continue cooperation with all parties concerned and with United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheik Ahmed in the interests of peace settlement via a political dialogue," the ministry said.

Apart from that, the two top diplomats discussed a schedule of political contacts for the nearest future.

A ceasefire regime brokered by Russia and the United States on February 22 officially came into effect in Syria at midnight Damascus time on February 27. This does not cover terrorist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, both outlawed in Russia, and other groups recognized as terrorist by the United Nations Security Council.

An hour before the ceasefire came into force, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution in support cessation of hostilities in Syria. The document was initiated by Russia and the United States and won support from all the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council.

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