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Russian, US experts begin talks on situation in Syria’s Aleppo — diplomat

July 29, 2016, 18:10 UTC+3 GENEVA

Russia is open for cooperation with humanitarian organizations on Aleppo

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

GENEVA, July 29. /TASS/. Russian-U.S. consultations geared to work out joint measures to stabilize the situation in the Syrian city of Aleppo have started in Geneva, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Geneva office and other Geneva-based international organizations Alexei Borodavkin told TASS on Friday.

"Consultations began at 16:00 local time (17:00 Moscow time)," the diplomat said.

"We are pleased to note a positive reaction from United Nations Special Syria Envoy Staffan de Mistura to the beginning of the Russian-Syrian humanitarian operation in Aleppo and are open to cooperation with all humanitarian agencies and organizations operating in Syria," he said. "We hope for their assistance and, naturally, we will analyze and take into account initiatives and recommendations of the United Nations officers in terms of improvement of the modality of the humanitarian operation in Aleppo."

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday Russia is sending experts to Geneva to work out joint measures to stabilize the situation in Aleppo. He said it is being done at a request from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. He stressed that the Russian defense ministry calls on partners "to focus on implementing agreements reached in Moscow and Geneva last week instead of accusatory rhetoric." Today, he stressed, "concrete joint actions without any preconditions are needed to destroy terrorism."

Shoigu said earlier that Moscow and Damascus begin a large-scale humanitarian operation in Aleppo. Four humanitarian corridors will be established there. The defense minister also ordered to airdrop food, medicaments and necessities to civilians in Aleppo.

A ceasefire regime brokered by Russia and the United States on February 22 officially came into effect in Syria at midnight Damascus time on February 27. This does not cover terrorist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, both outlawed in Russia, and other groups recognized as terrorist by the United Nations Security Council.

An hour before the ceasefire came into force, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution in support cessation of hostilities in Syria. The document was initiated by Russia and the United States and won support from all the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council.

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