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Minister: Russia and US are close to reaching an agreement on peaceful settlement in Syria

September 04, 13:35 UTC+3 HANGZHOU
Moscow and Washington have reached an understanding on a majority of issues concerning Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier
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© Alexandr Elistratov/TASS

HANGZHOU /China/, September 4. /TASS/. Russia and the U.S. are close to reaching an agreement on peaceful settlement of the situation in Syria, and the meeting between heads of the foreign policies authorities Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry in Chinese Hangzhou favors progress in this direction, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Sunday.

"Without any hesitation, I am saying we are close to an agreement, there are no grounds to argue what was said by the Russian president," he told reporters. The deputy foreign minister said as yet he could not forecast when this agreement could be announced. "The art of diplomacy requires time for implementation of straight ideas."

Moscow and Washington have reached an understanding on a majority of issues concerning Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday (September 2).

He noted that daily contacts between the Russian and US diplomats, military and intelligence agencies continue "to develop this algorithm (of the fight against terrorism)."

The minister added that this work will be completed before long. "Virtually all components of this task are already clear, an understanding has been reached on most issues," he stated. "The most important thing is that any agreements with the Americans on practical actions, on coordination of operations against terrorists will not be implemented if our American partners do not keep their promise to dissociate themselves from terrorists, above all, the Jabhat al-Nusra (terrorist group banned in Russia - TASS)."

"Many of the groups considered acceptable by the US have actually affiliated with Jabhat al-Nusra, while Jabhat al-Nusra is using them to avoid being attacked," Russia’s top diplomat explained.

"There is a wonderful phrase: nothing is agreed until agreed is all. As we are speaking about major issues of improving the ceasefire regime in Syria, and most importantly, in the issues we have been presenting to our U.S. counterparts for many months now regarding true, realistic distinguishing between terrorists and the so-called moderate opposition, as we are speaking about issues of the kind, we should consider the entire topic in complex," the high-ranking Russian diplomat said.

The deputy foreign minister was asked whether the Russian-U.S. agreement, in case it is reached, might change the situation in Syria. Rybkov answered: "I believe, this agreement may result in better understanding of where are terrorists, who threaten all, including Russia, who is to be targeted, and where are the people who do not recognize the current authorities in Damascus legal, though are ready to participate in the political process there."

The agreement, Russia and the U.S. are working on, will bring the parties to solving this problem, he added.

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