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Lavrov: Russia, Turkey have good relations, but it doesn’t mean consensus on any points

"Once it takes place, it resembles a bit some pressure which results in this assent," he added

MUNICH, February 16. /TASS/. The Russian-Turkish relationship is at a very good level, but it does not mean that the countries agree on every issue, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

"We have a very good relationship with Turkey. It does not mean that we must agree on all the issues. I strongly believe that in the relations between any two countries there cannot be a complete consensus on any problem," Lavrov said answering the conference participants’ questions about the two countries’ relations.

"Once it takes place, it resembles a bit some pressure which results in this assent," he added.

Astana process

The Russian foreign minister recalled that the Syrian conflict broke out back in 2011 during the so-called Arab Spring, when Libya was destroyed, Tunis was teetering on the brink of collapse along with other regional states.

"When extremists and terrorists practically besieged Damascus in the summer of 2015, nobody could think about any humanitarian norms, nor could imagine any political process. A military solution was much awaited, which was supposed to oust Bashar al-Assad’s government. At the request of that legitimate government, Russia responded to the plea for help and by now we have in general been capable of facilitating the Syrian government, the Syrian Armed Forces to turn the tide, primarily in the war on terror," Lavrov continued.

"At some stage, we all counted on the UN activity, as the Geneva process was created. I took an active part alongside [then US Secretary of State] John Kerry in those efforts," he added.

The Russian top diplomat pointed out that the negotiations were "middling" but no tangible result could be achieved, and later "United Nations colleagues decided to postpone the Geneva meetings in anticipation of some better times."

Afterwards, Lavrov continued, realizing that the impasse was becoming chronic, Russia, alongside Turkey and Iran, put forward a proposal for a political process.

"Moreover, we advocated for the opposition not to bring immigrants who live in other capitals, but those who have a real influence on people fighting on the ground with the Syrian army. We managed to do it," Lavrov said.

"It is the so-called Astana process. We are sincerely grateful to Kazakhstan for providing a hospitable venue in its capital," he added.

According to the Russian foreign minister, the Astana process remains "the most efficient tool in facilitating the UN to promote the goals of Security Council’s Resolution 2254."

Next session

Lavrov pointed out that the third session of Syria’s constitution committee is under preparation, recalling that the constitution committee was formed 18 months ago.

"It could have start working at the end of 2019, but we all know the history of that, as our Western counterparts actually demanded in the form of an ultimatum that the United Nations should not support the proposals put forward by the government and put forward by the opposition," he said. "A whole year was wasted on a senseless head-to-head [debate] about two or three individuals who our Western partners did not like for some reason. We lost a year. Now the situation might have been different."

"Nevertheless, we are not offended as we are trying to be guided by realities. The reality is that we eventually persuaded all those doubtful that that committee should be given green light. It has held two sessions and the third one is in the works. Today, I had a meeting with [UN Special Envoy for Syria] Geir Pedersen," Lavrov continued.