MOSCOW, December 20./TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed in a telephone conversation on Tuesday issues of final normalization of the situation in eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, the Foreign Ministry reports.
"They discussed ways of ending the conflict in Syria, including the issues of final normalization of the situation in eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, where a voluntary evacuation of civilians and withdrawal of gunmen is ending, as well as restart of the intra-Syrian negotiating process without setting preconditions, on which the patronized by the West opposition insisted earlier," the ministry said.
"Having informed the US secretary of state on the results of the Moscow meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey on December 20, Lavrov drew attention to a planned signing of an agreement between the government of the Syrian Arab Republic and units of armed opposition and to support for an invitation from Kazakhstan to afterwards organize in Astana negotiations of the parties to this agreement, devoted to the start of the political settlement process," the Foreign Ministry said.
"This will become a motivation for speeding up a dialog under the UN aegis in Geneva, which has remained for a long time deadlocked because of ultimatum demands from opposition based outside of Syria," it said.
The ministers also exchanged opinions on prospects for Palestinian-Israeli settlement, as well as on the course of implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program.
Kerry also conveyed condolences in connection with the murder of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov, the Foreign Ministry reported.
"Kerry expressed condolences in connection with the foul murder of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov," it said.
Russia’s ambassador to Turkey was gunned down on December 19 as he was speaking at the opening of a photo exhibition Russia from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka through a Traveler’s Eyes.
The Turkish authorities identified the attacker as former police officer Mevlut Mert Altyntash. He was promptly eliminated by the local security forces. The attacker had injured three other persons. The Russian Foreign Ministry has qualified the attack as an act of terrorism.