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Western countries’ missile strikes derail Geneva talks — top diplomat

MOSCOW, April 20. /TASS/. The United States, the United Kingdom and France have harmed the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva when they launched missile strikes on Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday after talks with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

"That act of aggression has complicated many things, including the mandate which UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has been responsible for upon an instruction of the UN Secretary General," he said. "Actually, after the Sochi Congress and the summit of Russian, Turkish and Iranian presidents in Ankara on April 4, we have closely approached a restart of the actual intra-Syrian dialogue in Geneva."

"Therefore, the above-mentioned countries (US, UK and France - TASS) were not just bombing mythical chemical facilities in Syria, they were bombing the Geneva talks," he noted.

Syria and the UN 

Sergey Lavrov also noted that his talks with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura were a success as they reached understanding on how to move ahead in the Syrian settlement:

"We had a rather meaningful talk today. We had a shared understanding on how to overcome the crisis and we will be maintaining our contacts," Lavrov said.

"Like our UN counterparts, we are interested in cooperation so that our mutual efforts will be freed to the utmost from everything superficial, from what we call geopolitical games, and in order to concentrate on fundamental interests of the Syrian people, in strict compliance with Resolution 2254 of the United Nations Security Council," he noted.