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Russian top diplomat says US revokes Aleppo proposals

December 06, 2016, 12:51 UTC+3

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that a serious discussion with US on Syria does not work

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© AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. The United States has said that it is revoking its proposals of December 2 concerning the withdrawal of militants from eastern Aleppo, while Washington’s new proposals would let the extremists take a break, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

"Yesterday we received from them (the United States - TASS) a notification they will be unable to attend a meeting (for consultations over Aleppo, because they have changed their mind). They are revoking their previous document, now they have a new one," Lavrov said. "This document, according to our first impressions, takes everything back to square one and looks like an attempt to gain time to let militants take a break and replenish their reserves."

Serious discussion doesn't work

Lavrov stated that all attempts at starting a serious discussion with the United States over Syria had proved futile.

"There is the understanding that a serious discussion with our American partners does not work. That was precisely the case with the September 9 agreements, which were achieved and took effect, but the United States eventually started looking for pretexts for quitting them and finally produced such an excuse. The current situation looks very similar."

"What the Americans have proposed on paper and what received our support in public has turned out to be no good again," Lavrov said.

One has the impression, he went on to say, that Washington tries to discredit Kerry’s statements and actions after the aforesaid agreements had been concluded at meetings with him.

At a rendezvous with Lavrov in Rome on December Kerry called for Russian-US consultations on eastern Aleppo. Washington’s initiative came against the background of the Syrian army’s successes in the struggle against extremists in the city. Kerry’s proposals envisaged coordination of dates and routes for the militants’ pullout from eastern Aleppo. It was expected that Russian and US experts were to enter into consultations over Kerry’s initiative in Geneva on December 6 or 7.

Incitement of extremists to commit crimes

Moscow plans to raise the question of inciting radical activists to commit crimes in Syria at the talks with Washington, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said following his meeting with Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

"It’s a pity that Western countries who are so proud of being concerned over human rights violations and the humanitarian situation in Aleppo, in fact continue to support radical activists and extremists," Lavrov pointed out. "The recent UN initiatives are based on the belief that the so-called High Negotiations Committee is the only legitimate representative of the Syrian opposition while it has been refusing to implement the decisions of the UN Security Council and come to terms with the Syrian authorities.

According to the Russian top diplomat, these actions incite radical activists to continue committing crimes which very much concerns Moscow. "We will discuss this issue with our counterparts, including Washington," Lavrov noted.

"If someone is really concerned over the humanitarian situation, they should stop talking and take practical steps aimed at delivering humanitarian aid, providing medical assistance, the way Russia has been doing," the foreign minister stressed. "After a large part of eastern Aleppo has been cleared or terrorists, no obstacles remain preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid along the Castello road."

The Russian top diplomat also said that "those who want to help, should understand that help means deeds, not words."

"Militants who will refuse to leave Aleppo will be wiped out"

Lavrov also said that militants who will refuse to leave eastern Aleppo will be wiped out.

"That the militants have refused (to leave eastern Aleppo - TASS) does not testify to anything yet. There is nothing to be rejected. A Russian-US agreement has not been formalized yet. Anyway, those will refuse to leave of their own accord will be wiped out. There is no other solution," Lavrov said.

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