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Lavrov, Kerry talks focused on steps to fight terrorists in Syria

July 26, 10:53 UTC+3
The Russian foreign minister stresses ceasefire in Syria impossible without damage to IS, Jebhat al-Nusra
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©  EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

VIENTIANE, July 26. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that he discussed with US State Secretary John Kerry steps on disengaging between terrorists and opposition in Syria.

"We discussed the situation in Syria with US State Secretary John Kerry following the agreements reached during John Kerry’s visit to Moscow," Lavrov said. "Agreements were made on practical steps that should be made to effectively fight against terrorists, to prevent the situation when so-called moderate opposition remains on terrorist-controlled territories and wants to participate in the ceasefire regime and at the same time wants to ensure that this regime does not inflict any damage on Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra," he added.

"US has assured from the beginning of the year that they will be able to disengage between the opposition with which they cooperate and terrorist structures. However, they have not managed to do this so far," the foreign minister stressed.

"Agreements reached at the last meeting with US state secretary in Moscow were discussed during the recent contacts between our experts. If they (agreements) are implemented, we hope that we will be able to ensure disengagement between opposition forces and terrorists from Islamic State (IS) and Jebhat al-Nusra (terrorist organizations both banned in Russia)," Lavrov said.

"We discussed what needs to be done in order for this agreement to start working in practice in the form of activities of Russian Aerospace Defense Forces and US forces, as well as US-led coalition," he added.

Ceasefire in Syria imposiible without damage to IS, Jebhat al-Nusra

The minister went on to say that Russia and the United States have agreed to prevent the situation when the ceasefire regime in Syria is ensured without inflicting damage on the Islamic State (IS) and Jebhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations.

"We discussed the situation in Syria with US State Secretary John Kerry following the agreements reached during John Kerry’s visit to Moscow," Lavrov said. "Agreements were made on practical steps that should be made to effectively fight against terrorists, to prevent the situation when so-called moderate opposition remains on terrorist-controlled territories and wants to participate in the ceasefire regime and at the same time wants to ensure that this regime does not inflict any damage on Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra," he added.

The High Negotiations Committee’s position hampers the resumption of talks

 According to Lavrov, the High Negotiations Committee’s (HNC) ultimatum position hampers the resumption of inter-Syrian talks.

"The so-called High Negotiations Committee has a non-constructive position," Lavrov said. "They do not propose anything, put forward ultimatums that will lead to nothing good - about necessity of (Syrian President Bashar) Assad’s resignation, and then they say we’ll see what to do with political process. This is an absolutely dead-end position," he added.

Russia, US, UN approach to political process in Syria

The Russian foreign minister expressed hope that Russia, US and UN will coordinate common approach to political process in Syria.

"Regarding today’s meeting between Russia, US and UN in Geneva, it is devoted to the importance of starting work on the political package of settlement as soon as possible," the foreign minister said after talks with US State Secretary John Kerry. "The next, or I would even say first round of inter-Syrian talks should be launched as soon as possible because all previous attempts can hardly be described as rounds," he added.

"The talks should be based on principles established by UN Security Council - full-format participation of the government and all opposition forces without exception. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has not yet managed to bring all those who should decide Syria’s future to the negotiations table and ensure inclusive representation of the opposition and governmental delegation," he went on.

"We hope that at the meeting between representatives of Russia, US and UN in Geneva, an approach will be coordinated that will allow to implement UN Security Council resolutions clearly and without hesitations, not allowing any preconditions and especially ultimatums," the foreign minister noted.

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