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Moscow says no prerequisites for Lausanne format meeting before US elections

October 24, 2016, 12:02 UTC+3

The Russian diplomat has also added that the humanitarian pause issue is off the table at the moment

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Syria talks in Lausanne, Switzerland

Syria talks in Lausanne, Switzerland


MOSCOW, October 24. /TASS/. A ministerial meeting in the Lausanne format is not expected in the near future, there are no prerequisites for it now, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Monday.

"The US elections are just days away," he said. "I cannot see any prerequisites for a ministerial meeting now."

Ryabkov noted that everything depends on the situation "on the ground." "However, as of today, the issue is to make sure that all existing agreements are complied with. We fully implement them, and so is Damascus. Let’s see what happens next. The experts Minister Lavrov has repeatedly mentioned, the ones who held a two-day meeting last week, are well aware of all the circumstances," the diplomat said, adding that "there is no need to send instructions to the experts from on high."

However Ryabkov mentioned that the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem’s visit to Moscow is under consideration: 

"The possible visit is under consideration, October 28 is one of the options," the diplomat said.

The issue on resuming the humanitarian pause in Syria’s Aleppo is  also not relevant now, the Russian diplomat explained. 

"The humanitarian pause was over on Saturday. For returning to this regime our opponents need to ensure adequate behavior of the anti-government groups," the diplomat said, explaining that these groups had disrupted the planned medical evacuations.

Moscow came to a conclusion that all the claims against Damascus and the Russian side were aimed at "heating up tensions and creating political environment that is unfavorable for us," he said.

"This is a very clear game, there is no taking care about the humanitarian situation in Aleppo behind this," Ryabkov said. "If those who are busy attacking us had been indeed worried about the fate of civilians in this city they would have really influenced the opposition and militants."

"This has not been done over the past three days, that’s why now the issue on resuming the humanitarian pause is not topical," Ryabkov said.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called on Monday to agree on a new humanitarian pause already this week saying it was important for establishing a long-term ceasefire in Syria.

"This week we will try to once again agree on a new humanitarian pause in order to reach a longer ceasefire. We have not achieved this so far," the top German diplomat said.

Russia earlier declared a three-day humanitarian pause in Aleppo. Germany’s Steinmeier said this pause was too short and could be only the beginning.

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