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Russia, US prepare proposals for ISSG statement - Lavrov

May 17, 3:32 UTC+3
"Probably, we will be able to offer it to the members of this group tomorrow what could be said after tomorrow’s meeting," Russian Foreign Minister said
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© Mikhail Metzel / TASS

VIENNA, May 17. /TASS/. Outlines of an International Syria Support Group (ISSG) statement were in focus of talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, relevant proposals will be presented at an ISSG meeting on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said late on Monday after talks in Vienna.

"We discussed [with Kerry - TASS] the outlines of a possible document. Probably, we will be able to offer it to the members of this group tomorrow what could be said after tomorrow’s meeting," he said.

The United States understands the importance of involving all opposition forces in Syria in the talks, Lavrov said.

"We felt that our US partners understood the importance of implementation of all the agreements on Syria, including recognition of the presence of representatives of all Syrian opposition movements at negotiations with the government delegation," Lavrov added.

"Let’s see how the discussion will pass tomorrow [during a ministerial meeting of the International Syria Support Group - TASS]," the Russian foreign minister said.

"Naturally, we discussed the contours of a possible Russia-US final document. On May 17, we will be in a position to jointly submit our ideas about what could be said about the results of the May 17 meeting to all the other members of this structure," the diplomat stressed.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said late on Monday his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry focused on the problem of closing Syria’s border with Turkey used to supply terrorists.

"We discussed the necessity to block channels of supplies to terrorists, first of all via the Syrian-Turkish border. So, we do have understanding on what is to be done," he said.

The Russian top diplomat reminded that as co-chair of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) Russia and the United States issued a joint document on May 9 which outlines their liabilities on the Syrian settlement.

"We undertook to go on intensifying work with the government," he said. "The American undertook enhanced commitments to work with the opposition and those foreign partners who support this opposition this or that way."

Some of the agreements, according to Lavrov, envisage efforts to influence all the opposition groups to make them "be guided by what is written in the United Nations Security Council resolution." "It has it that the talks are to involve the government and the entire spectrum of the opposition forces without preliminary conditions, that the Syrians are to decide about the future of their country," he said. "It means that there is no room for any preliminary conditions or ultimatums."

"We maintain contacts with the Riyadh group like with all other opposition groups but other parties, other members of the International Syria Support Group, including the Americans, have decisive influence on it," the Russian top diplomat noted. "And they undertook relevant liabilities. Let us wait and see how they implement them.".

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