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Lavrov urges De Mistura to set date for pan-Syrian talks without delay

December 08, 2016, 22:45 UTC+3 HAMBURG
"I think I’ve lost my voice already as I called on Staffan de Mistura to stop stonewalling political negotiations," Lavrov said. "They were entrusted to him and he has no other job to do."
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HAMBURG, December 8. /TASS/. Moscow urges the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura to appoint the date for pan-Syrian negotiations without a delay, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

"I think I’ve lost my voice already as I called on Staffan de Mistura to stop stonewalling political negotiations," he said. "They were entrusted to him and he has no other job to do."

"I’m saying this openly, because I tell him the very same thing plainly, as I did recently in Rome," Lavrov said. "De Mistura has been saying since May he’s about to convene a new round of talks."

Lavrov indicated, however, that nothing of the kind was taking place in reality.

"The Americans and the Europeans who’re not particularly saddened by the deadlocking of the political process tell us on the sidelines the Riyadh group is reluctant to sit down to the conference table because it wants guarantees of Bashar al-Assad’s resignation," Lavrov said. "They still view the Riyadh group as the only representative of the opposition, although the UN Security Council has listed it as just one among other groups."

"Well, if the people are so whimsical then the date of the negotiations is simply appointed and let those who come make agreements," he said. "And those who don’t come should blame no one but themselves.".

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