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Duma waits for US Congress to respond about level and format of possible meetings on Syria

September 05, 2013, 15:10 UTC+3
On Thursday Senator Harry Reid expressed readiness to contribute to holding Russian-American parliamentary consultations
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Aleksei Pushkov, Photo ITAR-TASS/Mitya Aleshkovsky

Aleksei Pushkov, Photo ITAR-TASS/Mitya Aleshkovsky

MOSCOW, September 5 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian State Duma, lower house of parliament, waits for the US Congress to respond about the level and a format of possible meetings on Syria, State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Aleksei Pushkov said.

“The State Duma took into account the fact that the speaker of the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress had refused to accept a delegation of the Russian Federal Assembly,” Pushkov said.

“Depending on the US response we’ll take a final decision on our visit to the United States,” the Duma lawmaker said.

Earlier, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the US Congress John Boehner refused to meet Russian parliamentarians.

However, on Thursday Senator Harry Reid expressed readiness to contribute to holding Russian-American parliamentary consultations, according to Federation Council deputy speaker Ilyas Umakhanov.

“After we receive a confirmation the delegation of the Federation Council and State Duma, the houses of Russia’s parliament, is ready to leave for the United States on Sunday,” Umakhanov said.

“The Russian Embassy is studying issues due to be discussed with the chairmen of committees, Senators and Congressmen. Several American Senators and Congressmen showed interest in holding the dialogue,” he said.

On September 2, chairperson of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko and State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin urged President Vladimir Putin to use the dialogue between the parliaments in order to resolve the Syrian crisis. “I’ll do all what depends on me,” Putin said.

The president pledged to talk with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in order to contribute to implementing this initiative.

Matviyenko sent a letter of Senator Harry Reid to urge him to prepare the meeting. “Russian parliamentarians are ready for such meeting in Washington, Moscow or any other city,” she said.

Matviyenko urged the US Senator “to do everything possible to prevent the dramatic events in Syria from turning into a large-scale regional catastrophe”.

The Russian Embassy in the United States told Itar-Tass that the Russian parliamentary delegation was planning to meet his US counterparts in Washington next week. “The Russian delegation is planning to visit the United States. At present, details are being considered. The exact date is still unknown. Maybe, the visit will be held next week,” the embassy reported.

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