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Lavrov: Russia, US are not holding any secret talks on Syria

April 18, 2016, 14:37 UTC+3

The Russian foreign minister stressed that statements on secret deals on Bashar al-Assad’s fate are aimed at undermining the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions

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© Sergei Savostianov/TASS

MOSCOW, April 18./TASS/. Russia and the US are not engaged in any secret negotiations on Syria in Geneva, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

"We see a normal regime of working consultations as well as cooperation of the two countries within the framework of the International Syria Support Group, where Russia and the United States are co-chairmen, as well as within the framework of the ceasefire task force set up within this group," he said. 

Lavrov stressed that statements on secret deals on Bashar al-Assad’s fate are aimed at undermining the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions.

"The attempts to say that there is a kind of a secret negotiations channel and moreover that as part of this secret negotiations channel someone has promised to solve the fate of Assad outside intra-Syrian talks… This is not true," Lavrov said.

"This is an attempt to disrupt the implementation of the UNSC resolutions that say directly on the basis of the Russian-US agreement supported by everyone: only the Syrian people can decide on the fate of Syria," he said.

According to the minister, there are quite a few people in the United States and Turkey who are willing to work on ‘Plan B’ for Syria and overthrow this country’s President Bashar al-Assad.

"Despite the denials made in Washington, including by US Secretary of State John Kerry, there are many people who wish to think about such ‘Plan B', if not in the heart of the Pentagon, but certainly in the region." he said. "Let me mention, in particular, Turkey, which perseveres in its attempts to intervene by force.".

The Russian top diplomat has also once again pointed out that the Syrian government troops are not acting against Syrian opposition groups, which have agreed to the ceasefire, in various parts of Syria, including Aleppo.

"The government troops, which are supported by the Russian aerospace group in Syria, are not acting against that part of the opposition which has accepted the truce terms. The Syrian army is fighting terrorists with the Russian Aerospace Forces’ support," the minister said.

According to Lavrov, Moscow has many questions for the moderate Syrian opposition about their cooperation with Jebhat al-Nusra terrorist organization (banned in Russia).

"If the moderate [opposition] does not want to leave positions occupied by Jebhat al-Nusra, maybe it is not moderate? Maybe they are just cooperating with Jebhat al-Nusra in violation of UN Security Council resolution?" Lavrov said.

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