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De Mistura’s visit to Moscow useful, productive — UN

February 17, 3:31 UTC+3 UN

De Mistura met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov

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© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

UN, February 16. /TASS./ The visit to Moscow by the UN special envoy on Syria, Staffan de Mistura, was "useful and productive," said Farhan Haq, a deputy spokesman for the UN Secretary General.

De Mistura met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov in Moscow Thursday.

"They discussed the ongoing meeting in Astana and how best it can contribute to the preparations for the Geneva round of negotiations scheduled for next week. Meetings were useful and productive," Haq told reporters. "Other issues, such as humanitarian access and UN-Russia cooperation, were also discussed."

He also said that a delegation of five UN officials also took part in the Syrian reconciliation meeting held in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana to "lend its expertise in discussions on the consolidation of the ceasefire regime and related issues."

Another round of UN-sponsored talks on Syrian reconciliation is expected to begin in Geneval on February 23, after a break of nearly ten months. Earlier this week, De Mistura said the crisis in Syria may be settled this year. He explained his optimism by the fact that the ceasefire in the country, announced in December, is being observed in general.

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