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Lavrov to meet with US, German top diplomats on February 16

February 15, 11:02 updated at: February 15, 11:32 UTC+3

Sergey Lavrov will also meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura

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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold bilateral meetings in Germany's Bonn on Thursday, including with top US and German diplomats Rex Tillerson and Sigmar Gabriel, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

"Lavrov will hold meetings with Tillerson and Gabriel on the sidelines of G20 in Bonn," Zakharova told reporters.

"This will be their first meeting, Sergey Lavrov has not met with Mr. Tillerson before," the diplomat said, adding that the agenda for the Bonn meeting is still under discussion.

"Certainly, this concerns bilateral relations that had been driven into a deadlock by the previous administration, they need to be pulled out of there," the diplomat said.

"We have many issues that are on the agenda regarding bilateral relations, which need to be considered urgently or in the mid-term prospect," Zakharova explained.

"There are plans to discuss major international crises on which our countries cooperated on and should cooperate," she stressed. "Of course, regional issues will be considered."

Lavrov may also hold meetings with Chinese colleagues, she said, adding that "a meeting with the foreign ministers of Brazil and South Africa is scheduled and is being discussed." On February 17, Lavrov may also meet with his Italian and Japanese counterparts on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting. "More contacts are possible," she added.

Lavrov-Stoltenberg meeting

Lavrov will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Munich on February 17, Zakahrova went on. 

"Sergey Lavrov is set to meet with the NATO Secretary General on the sidelines of the Munich security conference," Zakharova said, adding that the minister may also meet with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif.

Talks with Staffan de Mistura

Lavrov will hold talks with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura in Moscow on February 16, she added. 

"During the meeting ahead of the upcoming Geneva talks on Syria scheduled for February 23, the parties will exchange views on the whole range of issues related to settling the Syrian crisis, including the Astana process initiated by Russia, Turkey and Iran, which involves the Syrian government and the armed opposition," the Russian diplomat said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov will also hold a meeting with de Mistura, Zakharova added.

"During their meetings with the UN envoy, the Russian diplomats will emphasize the need for the Geneva talks under the United Nations auspices, due on February 23, to be held in full accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254 which stipulates the equal participation of all opposition groups," the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman stressed. "Only in this case progress can be made in solving the Syrian conflict and reaching an agreement reflecting the interests of all groups of Syrian society."

Lavrov-Cavusoglu meeting

 On February 18, Lavrov will hold talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Zakharova said. She added that the Russian top diplomat will also hold other bilateral meetings.

"Several bilateral meetings will take place in Munich on February 18," she said. "Lavrov will participate in a meeting between representatives of the Russian and German business communities. Besides, he is scheduled to meet with Croatia’s president and foreign minister as well as the Turkish foreign minister and the top diplomats from Slovakia and France."

Russian, Swedish top diplomats' talks

According to Zakharova, Lavrov is scheduled to hold negotiations with his Swedish counterpart, Margot Wallstrom, on February 21.

"The negotiations will focus on the state of bilateral relations between Russia and Sweden, cooperation within multilateral regional structures on Northern Europe and the Arctic", she stated. Zakharova added that the top diplomats will share their views on crucial international issues and the United Nations Security Council’s activities, bearing in mind that Sweden became a two-year member of UNSC on January 1, 2017.

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