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Russia hopes contacts with France will clear up cooperation on Syria

According to Russia's top diplomat, some states are pursuing a policy of destroying Syria

BEIJING, April 24. /TASS/. Russia expects contacts with France will spell out specifically how to cooperate on bringing about a settlement on Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday.

According to the top Russian diplomat, some states are pursuing a policy of destroying Syria.

"The United States pledged that its only goal was to drive terrorists out of Syria and defeat the so-called Islamic State (terror group, outlawed in Russia). However, despite its pledges and statements by President [Donald] Trump, the US has been actively settling on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River and is not going to leave the area and is creating local power structures there," Lavrov emphasized.

French President Emmanuel Macron is encouraging these moves, Lavrov noted. In his recent statement, Macron said that the US should not leave Syria and the US-led coalition should remain there until they create an administration, which satisfies Western countries. "Certainly, this is clear-cut interference in domestic affairs and a violation of all norms of international law and decency," the top diplomat stressed.

"I hope that after contacts with [our] French colleagues we will set the record straight on how we will cooperate on a settlement to the Syrian crisis in order to observe all rules and norms of the international law and the United Nations Charter," Lavrov explained.

The foreign minister noted that on Monday, the Russian and French presidents had a phone conversation "during which Vladimir Putin laid out our stance and confirmed [Russia’s] willingness to coordinate positions with [our] French partners." "We are ready for this," the top diplomat said.

On Tuesday, Lavrov attended a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Beijing.