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Lavrov urges UN to convene new round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva

February 01, 2017, 11:17 UTC+3

The top diplomat stresses joint mechanism of Russia, Iran, Turkey already allows monitoring ceasefire implementation in Syria

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 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Russian-Arab cooperation forum in Abu Dhabi

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Russian-Arab cooperation forum in Abu Dhabi

© Alexandr Sherbak/TASS

ABU DHABI, February 1. /TASS/. Moscow calls on the United Nations to intensify efforts to convene the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Russian-Arab cooperation forum in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

"The meeting in Astana (on January 23-24) created an additional platform that is not a substitution for the Geneva process," Lavrov said. "But still we believe that our friends in the United Nations should hurry up and stop delaying the resumption of talks."

"We will keep the Astana platform for control over implementation of the agreements reached at the first meeting with the participation of the Syrian government and armed opposition units," he added.

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura announced the decision on Tuesday to postpone the Geneva talks between Damascus and the opposition from February 8 until February 20. De Mistura said the UN seeks to give time to implement the agreement reached at the Astana meeting on setting up a ceasefire monitoring mechanism. If the ceasefire is ensured, this will contribute to the success of the Geneva talks, he stressed.

A joint mechanism created by Russia, Iran and Turkey already allows monitoring the ceasefire implementation in Syria, he added. 

"The ceasefire generally holds," Lavrov said. "Russia, Turkey and Iran set up a mechanism that already allows monitoring the ceasefire implementation. A position was formed in line with which all armed opposition’s units were invited to join the ceasefire and the political talks."

"We are thankful for the support of initiative that led to holding the international meeting on Syria in Astana. We note that for the first time the meeting involved the sides that confront each other in Syria with arms in their hands," Lavrov said. "The sides gathered at the moment when they agreed on the ceasefire."

Lavrov said several days before the meeting in the Kazakh capital on January 23-24 a number of groups of the southern front of the Syrian opposition also joined the ceasefire with the support of Jordan.

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