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Russian top diplomat meets with UN secretary-general in Geneva

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Sergei Fadeichev/TASS
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

GENEVA, February 25. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Geneva on Monday.

The UN secretary-general’s special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, was also present at the meeting.

The sides warmly greeted each other and shook each other’s hands, and the conversation continued behind closed doors.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement later in the day that during their talks, Lavrov and Guterres discussed the situation in Syria and the Russia-UN dialogue, .

"A detailed exchange of opinions on most pressing issues of the international agenda, including the situation in Syria, has taken place," the ministry said.

"Issues of Russia’s contacts with the UN Secretariat have been considered," it said. "Special attention was paid to the 75th anniversary of victory in World War II and the creation of the global organization."

The sides confirmed their mutual commitment to strengthening of the United Nations’ central role in global affairs.

The Russian top diplomat arrived in Geneva to to take part in the high-level 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council and to address the Disarmament Conference on February 25.

The UN chief’s official spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, said earlier in the day that the sides may address the situation in Syria’s Idlib governorate, which deteriorated sharply in early February after Russian and Turkish military made another attempt to introduce a ceasefire. In response, terrorists only stepped up their attacks. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that Ankara was ready to use all of its military force in case of an operation in Idlib. He noted that a military operation in Idlib was "only a matter of time.".