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Lavrov: Invitations to Astana talks on Syria do not exclude US possible participation

January 18, 14:02 UTC+3

The foreign minister says the form, in which invitations are sent, allows ensuring the participation of all who are mentioned in public statements, including US representatives

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MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. The form of invitations to Syria talks in Astana does not exclude the possibility of US participation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

"I can say frankly that the form, in which invitations are sent, allows ensuring the participation of all who are mentioned in public statements, including US representatives," the foreign minister said.

The Russian foreign minister thus commented on a statement by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif about the participation of US representatives in Syria consultations in Astana.

Now these invitations are being sent out, Lavrov said. "The final composition of participants that will gather in Astana will be announced as soon as these invitations are received and when official responses come," the Russian foreign minister said. The Iranian foreign minister told Tasnim news agency on Tuesday that Iran stood against the US presence at the forthcoming inter-Syrian talks in Astana.

"We have not invited the US and are against their presence," Zarif said.

The forthcoming talks between the Syrian government and the opposition were announced after a meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran on December 20, 2016 in Moscow. The ministers then spoke in support of establishing truce on the entire territory of Syria.

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