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GENEVA, October 19. /TASS/. Consultations among military experts from Russia, the US and some other countries on separating terrorists from the moderate opposition in eastern Aleppo began in Geneva on Wednesday. "It is expected that during the consultations, the parties will exchange information crucial to understanding what groups there are in the city, their membership and conditions of their separation from the Jabhat al-Nusra (terrorist group outlawed in Russia)," a diplomatic source told TASS.
So far it is unclear how long the discussions held behind closed doors will last. Neither the dates, nor the place, nor the names of the participants have been disclosed.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov stated in a speech to Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) on Wednesday that "there is a possibility of continuing the meeting tomorrow." "Our delegation is ready to stay there as long as necessary to achieve results," he noted. Ryabkov added that military experts will discuss in Geneva on Wednesday efforts to continue humanitarian pauses in Aleppo. "The issue (humanitarian pauses in Aleppo) is being discussed in Geneva today by military experts from countries that took part (in the meeting) at the ministerial level in Lausanne last Saturday," the diplomat said.
On October 15, Lausanne hosted a meeting between the top diplomats of Russia, the US and seven Middle East countries - Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. However, the permanent missions of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey in Geneva neither confirmed, nor denied their delegations’ participation in the consultations while speaking to a TASS correspondent.
Russian Defense Minister, Sergey Shoigu, earlier said that military experts from a number of countries would begin work to separate terrorists from the opposition in Aleppo on October 19 in Geneva. He noted that the Russian initiative to observe a humanitarian pause in Aleppo on October 20 "should contribute to the success of military experts’ work."