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MOSCOW, July 19. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry have discussed in a telephone conversation steps for the settlement of the conflict in Syria and combating terrorists in that country, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Tuesday.
"The sides discussed concrete steps of Russia and the United States to assist the Syrian settlement efforts and suppress the terrorist groups in the country, pursuant to the agreements reached during the US state secretary’s recent visit to Moscow," the ministry said.
On Saturday, Lavrov said after talks with Kerry that the international community, including Russia and the United States, as co-chairs of the International Syria Support Group, cannot substitute direct talks between various Syrian groups. "But we will not conceal that we can and must use out influence on various Syrian parties to have them implement the key requirement - to sit down at the negotiating table and try to reach an agreement on political reforms on the basis of mutual consent." "This is the key to success and we hope such process ultimately starts and the solution to the Syrian problem, like to any other problem in our turbulent world, relies on democratic principles, the principles of the United Nations Charter which declares sovereignty of its nations and their right to decide their future through free elections," Lavrov said.