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Austria urges EU to launch dialogue with Russia, US on Syria

September 06, 13:24 UTC+3 VIENNA

The European Union should launch dialogue with Russia and the United States on the Syrian settlement, Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl said

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VIENNA, September 6. /TASS/. The European Union should launch dialogue with Russia and the United States on the Syrian settlement, Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl said on Thursday.

"We [the EU] should begin dialogue with the US and Russia on the developments in Syria," the Austrian Foreign Ministry’s press service quoted Kneissl as saying after talks with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels.

According to Kneissl, joint talks between the US and Russian top diplomats and the EU foreign policy chief on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s session in New York later this month could yield progress on the Syrian issue.

"During a direct contact with US Secretary of State [Mike] Pompeo and [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov we need to look for a solution to the Syrian conflict. We are all interested in ending the bloodshed. The talks concern returning the refugees, humanitarian assistance and reconstruction," she stressed.

Austria holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from July 1 to December 31.

According to Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Vienna is set to do its utmost to establish good ties between the EU and Russia, stressing that cooperation with Moscow on all issues of the international agenda is vital.

"Russia plays a crucial role in providing safety and stability in Europe and around the world, which is why Austria will direct its efforts to continue EU-Russia relations basing on five principles, and to strengthen the dialogue between Russia and the EU," the Austrian government’s program states.

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