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Russian top diplomat notes progress in settling Syrian crisis

January 20, 2017, 10:35 UTC+3

The meeting in Astana is scheduled for January 23

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. Some progress has been made in settling the Syrian crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the opening of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states’ political consultations.

According to him, the international situation remains rather complex. "An unprecedented growth of terrorist activities causes high concern, over a short time period, it has become the main threat to global stability," Lavrov stressed. "Deadly terror attacks carried out all over the world, including the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, prove this alarming and dangerous trend."

He also said that "numerous local conflicts as well as ongoing uncertainty in global economy" worsened the situation. "However, there are also some encouraging signals. In particular, it seems to me that the recent terror attacks have strengthened the perception that there is no alternative to setting up a truly universal counter-terrorist front, which is what Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the last session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York," Lavrov noted.

"The progress made in settling the Syrian crisis is encouraging, at least, everybody agrees that there is no alternative to a political and diplomatic solution through a national dialogue," the Russian top diplomat noted.

Astana talks 

The meeting in Astana, scheduled for January 23, between representatives of the Syrian government and the armed opposition, will be an important input in offering parameters for the settlement, Lavrov has emphasized.

"We consider this meeting as an important input in offering parameters for the overwhelming political settlement in Syria, which will continue at the wider events in Geneva," the minister said.

The consultations in Geneva are due to begin on February 8.

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