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Russian UN envoy: US officials seen to be still at loss over Russia’s actions in Syria

April 14, 2016, 8:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to the diplomat, close Russia-US interaction at various levels - political, diplomatic and military - is the backbone of the crisis settlement efforts

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© Alexander Yelistratov/TASS

MOSCOW, April 14. /TASS/. The United States’ officials, especially those from Pentagon, tend to underestimate cooperation with Russia in Syria which gives away their abashment over Russia’s actions in that country in the past six months, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said in an interview with the Izvestia daily on Thursday.

"Generally speaking, close Russia-US interaction at various levels - political, diplomatic and military - is the backbone of the crisis settlement efforts. Everyone understands it. And the fact that the Americans, especially Pentagon representatives, are underestimating it may probably mean that they are still at a loss over Russia’s energetic actions in the Syrian track in the recent six months," he said.

Touching on the Syrian settlement process, the Russian diplomat noted that Moscow positively assesses the activities of United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura. "He is a proficient and experienced diplomat who generally succeeded in establishing a certain exchange of opinions between the Syrian government delegation and the opposition (given the lack of unity among the latter) during the first round of talks which yielded a document that can be used to try to find common ground and continue the negotiating process," Churkin said.

Currently, according to Churkin, de Mistura’s activities have bigger international support than before, so, his efforts have more chances to be crowned by favorable results.

The Russian diplomat expressed regret that Western members of the United Nations Security Council are unwilling to exert influence on Turkey which is categorically against inviting the Kurds to the peace talks. "Turkey is opposing, absolutely irrationally, to the participation of the Syrian Kurds in the talks. This way it is only prompting them towards ‘separatist sentiments.’ And this is what Ankara fears," he said. "Regrettably, developments around our draft statement demonstrate that the United States and other Western members of the United Nations Security Council do not want to influence Ankara’s position. It is regrettable as in no way promoting the talks.".

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