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Lavrov: Russia expects from US accurate information on groups joining truce in Syria

March 15, 2016, 18:49 UTC+3

According to Russia’s top diplomat, Moscow hopes that all participants in the peace process would be guided solely by the interests of their countries and their peoples

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Sergey Lavrov

Sergey Lavrov

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. Russia is waiting for precise information from the United States on the groups that are joining the truce in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

"A lot is to be done here, because we handed over to the Americans information about the groups that agreed to join the cessation of hostilities with the exact indication of the persons who can be contacted," the minister said.

"We want the US partners to inform us in as much detail about the groups that are joining the ceasefire regime through them," he told reporters.

Lavrov also mentioned the participation of the Gulf countries in the Syrian settlement. He recalled that the so-called Riyadh group had been formed with the participation of Saudi Arabia. "It is one of the key groups at the talks that are beginning in Geneva. We are grateful to our Saudi colleagues for the fact that this group, in contrast to its January sentiment, now seems to be determined to join this intra-Syrian political process, keeping in mind the need to seek compromises, to negotiate on the basis of reciprocal consent with the government," he said.

Russia’s top diplomat added that "Moscow hoped that all participants in the peace process would be guided solely by the interests of their countries and their peoples and, putting personal ambitions aside, will seek agreements on the basis of the principles laid down in the decisions of the UN Security Councils that endorsed the agreements reached under the Russian-US chairmanship."

 Moscow hopes that the United States will give the signal to the opposition forces in Syria on the need to take part in the political settlement.

"Speaking about the external aspects of our decision (on the withdrawal of Russia’s contingent from Syria), it makes sense to focus on the fact that when we made yesterday’s steps, when we secured over the past few weeks, months the consent of the Syrian leadership with the efforts made in Vienna, and then in New York, Munich, which are now embodied in the agreement on the beginning of the intra-Syrian talks, we hoped that our Western colleagues, our colleagues in the region would use their capabilities as well to make sure that members of various opposition groups receive the necessary signal and began to act in a constructive manner," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov went on to say.

"There are reasons to believe that our partners realize the need for precisely such actions. At least, we see this desire on the part of the United States in the International Syria Support Group," Lavrov said. Besides, "good military-to-military contacts have been established," he added. "We sought this for a long time. Currently, strictly professional work is underway between specialists, our military at Hmeimim base, the US military in its center in Jordan. We are in process of coordinating views on who complies with the cessation of hostilities regime and how, where violations occur and which of the groups are ready to continue to adhere to the truce, ready to join the political process," the minister said.

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