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Lavrov calls not to speculate about US’ position on Syria after presidential election

November 02, 2016, 15:47 UTC+3

The top diplomat says Russia, US retain channels of communication on eastern Aleppo

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Aleppo, Syria

Aleppo, Syria

© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

ATHENS, November 2. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called not to make guesses on what position on Syria the United States will adopt after the presidential election.

"Let’s better not live by speculation but let’s verify the position, basing on the facts," Lavrov said. "They will be soon made public and it will be clear who has won the US election, what positon on Syria has been drawn up, with (the position) on other pressing international issues as well."

The United States will elect a new president on November 8.

Channels of communication

Lavrov added that Russia and the US still retain the channels of communication on Syria, particularly on eastern Aleppo, "We retain the channels of communication on the Syrian conflict, including eastern Aleppo," he said. "I hope that we will achieve some results and that our US counterparts won’t withdraw consent as they did in connection with the agreements reached on September 9."

"Now on to Raqqa. When there were some prospects for Russia and the US to coordinate their actions in Syria aimed at fighting the terrorists and enhancing a ceasefire, Raqqa was brought up as a possible target for our joint operations," Lavrov said.

He pointed out that later "the US dropped this topic." "Yes, they announced the plans to attack Raqqa which is the Syrian stronghold of the Islamic State (terror group outlawed in Russia)," the minister noted. "But I believe I have heard news today saying that the offensive would be indefinitely postponed."

Russia-US ties

Lavrov went on to say that Moscow and Washington will have to come to terms in any case and the sooner it happens the better.

According to him, the problems concerning the two countries’ relations have been mounting for a long time, even before the Ukrainian crisis broke out. "Complications began once the US realized we weren’t saying ‘yes sir’ whenever we discussed some global issue with them, Washington saw that Russian President Vladimir Putin started to restore an independent foreign policy," the minister noted. "His course stipulates taking into consideration the interests of our partners at international talks as opposed to the policy of making everyone ‘follow a leader’ that believes in his own exceptionalism."

Lavrov reiterated Putin’s statement saying that the US was a great power but other countries were not bound to play by Washington’s rules. "A few months ago US President Barack Obama said that it was the US that was eligible to set up global rules," the Russian top diplomat pointed out. "It is an arrogant approach but honest at the same time, I suppose."

"If our US counterparts think this way, then they will have to undergo a painful realization that no country is capable of doing anything alone anymore," Lavrov stressed. "That’s why we will have to come to terms anyway, the sooner the better."

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