MOSCOW, August 8 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov leaves for New York on Thursday where he will meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The parties will compare notes on the solution of acute international problems. "They plan to discuss the prospects for settling the situation in Syria within the context of the Russian-U.S. initiative to convene an international conference, as well as the development of the situation in the Middle East in general," Russian diplomats said.
Lavrov said the scope of continuing violence in Syria was going off the scale. The unceasing terrorist attacks and massacres committed by militants, makes the convening of Geneva-2 the most urgent task. "The more we delay the forum, the more casualties the civilian population will suffer," the minister said.
Lavrov and Bank Ki-Moon will thoroughly discuss the situation in Afghanistan given the withdrawal of the international forces and the handover of responsibility for maintaining security to the law-enforcement bodies of this country.
Russia "consistently calls for strengthening the key coordinating role of the United Nations in working our approaches to the solution of global problems," a Russian Foreign Ministry official noted.
On Thursday afternoon, Lavrov will leave New York for Washington to attend a Russian-US meeting of the ministers of defense and foreign affairs.
The talks on August 9, at which the parties will discuss a broad range of security issues will be held against the background of the White House's announcement that President Barack Obama cancelled his visit to Moscow. Washington believed it was expedient to postpone the meeting due to insufficient progress in resolving the issues on the general agenda. The USA did not conceal the fact that one of the key factors behind the cancellation of the summit is Russia's decision to grant temporary asylum to former CIA employee Edward Snowden.