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Lavrov hopes for resumption of dialogue with Turkey on Syria

June 29, 2016, 16:53 UTC+3

The Russian and Turkish presidents earlier on Wednesday stressed the necessity to boost international counter-terrorism cooperation

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

PARIS, June 29. /TASS/. Moscow hopes for resumption of dialogue with Ankara on search for ways to settle the Syrian crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday following talks with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault.

"We until recently had very close contacts on Syrian settlement with Turkey, and then they were interrupted for clear reasons," Lavrov said.

"Now that the Turkish president sent apologies to the Russian president, when they discussed possibilities of normalization of our relations by phone today, it seems to me that we with Turkish partners will resume interaction on search for ways to settle the Syrian crisis," he said.

"All the more so as very much depends on Turkey," the minister said. "The UN decisions have a call on all countries to help regional powers not to allow to use their territories by terrorists and those who feed terrorists in Syria, Iraq or other places."

Russia ready for cooperation on Syria with all countries

Lavrov has also stressed Russia's readiness to cooperate with all parties concerned.

"All parties must implement what they have agreed on regarding Syria," Lavrov said. "Russia acts on everything that was agreed."

"We are ready to cooperate with the United States, France and other European countries and also with regional states. With everybody without any exception," Lavrov said.

West should make oppositionists leave Jabhat al-Nusra positions

The diplomat has called on the West should make Syrian oppositionists leave the positions of Jabhat al-Nusra (a terrorist group banned in Russia) in order for the regime of truce to be established across Syria.

"In order for the regime of cessation of hostilities to seriously take hold across the entire Syrian territory, all our partners in the United States, Europe and that region, who have influence upon oppositionists from among those who joined the truce, should make these oppositionists leave the positions of Jabhat al-Nusra," Lavrov said.

"Otherwise, an impression could be created that the situation is used to save Jabhat al-Nusra, not to touch it," he said. "This is a gross violation of the UN Security Council resolution."

Elimination of hotbed of terrorism in Syria remains crucial task 

Lavrov went on to say that the elimination of the hotbed of terrorism in Syria, establishment of humanitarian access and promotion of an inclusive dialog remain key tasks in settling the conflict in that country.

"We discussed the situation in Syria. There is the international format, in which Russia and France are represented and interact tightly. I’m referring to the International Syria Support Group," he said.

"Also crucial is the task of eliminating the hotbed of terrorism in Syrian territory, wider access to Syrian territory for the delivery of humanitarian aid and, of course, promotion of the political process through a genuinely inclusive intra-Syrian dialog," Lavrov said.

No excuses to delay fight against terrorists

According to Lavrov, there should be no excuses to delay effective fight against terrorists in Syria in connection with the actions of the opposition.

"We agreed to work collectively, and the United Nations Security Council’s decision contains a clear and unambiguous call on all countries without exception that have influence upon this or that Syrian side, to push them for cooperation with the aim to implement the plan of settlement on all three aspects: cessation of hostilities, delivery of humanitarian aid and the political process," Lavrov said.

"As regards cessation of hostilities, I hope oppositionists will finally be removed from terrorists-controlled territory to get rid of all pretexts against an effective antiterrorism fight," he said.

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