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Pentagon chief calls on Russia to help UN envoy build stability in Middle East

April 27, 1:33 updated at: April 27, 2:23 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

"We need to all get behind the Geneva Convention process, or the Geneva process, and come to a diplomatic solution for this," Mattis said

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WASHINGTON, April 27. /TASS/. Russia needs to help United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura build stability in the Middle East, Pentagon chief James Mattis said ahead of a meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

"We need to all get behind the Geneva Convention process, or the Geneva process, and come to a diplomatic solution for this. And Staffan de Mistura has been trying, and Russia needs to help him if they want to see a way forward to a more stable Middle East," Mattis said.

"I think anything that's done to continue this fighting in Syria is actually a tragedy," the Pentagon chief added.

Mattis also said that the United States had not yet made a decision on withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for Iran’s nuclear program.

De Mistura said on Thursday that in his view, the Russian-backed initiatives aimed at resolving the Syria issue, including the Astana process and the Sochi-hosted Syrian National Dialogue Congress, had run out of steam and the time had come for high-level diplomatic efforts involving not only the guarantors of the Astana process but other countries as well.

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