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US still hesitates over publication of Syria deal — Lavrov

Moscow doesn't want to "go the way of secret diplomacy" and seeks publication of the agreements

BISHKEK, September 16. /TASS/. Washington is still hesitating whether to publish the Russian-US agreements on Syria, while Moscow is ready for this, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Sputnik news agency in Kyrgyzstan on Friday.

On September 10, Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry coordinated in Geneva a package of five documents aimed at reinstating ceasefire in Syria and laying down the foundation for the resumption of the political process. The 48-hour long ceasefire came into effect from 1600GMT (7.00 p.m. Moscow time) on September 12.

"Now we are striving for making these agreements public. We do not want to go the way of secret diplomacy," Lavrov said. "Our American partners are hesitating now, and this is uncharacteristic of them as they call for democratic approaches to solving problems. Democracy envisages publicity," he said.

The Western partners start understanding that the priority in Syria is the fight against terrorism, Russia’s top diplomat said. "Understanding is growing among them that things have been pushed too far away and priorities need to be chosen by probably relying more on the genuine national interests," he said.

"And this is of course the fight against terrorism, the fight against the Islamic State and Jabhat Al-Nusra (both outlawed in Russia)," Lavrov said.

Speaking on Bashar Assad, Lavrov said that despite the West’s claims, the Syrian president is becoming more popular in the country. "For them (the West) the priority is toppling dictator Bashar Assad only because they decided that Assad will follow Muammar Gaddafi and his days are numbered."

Turkey is also starting to abandon ultimatums on Assad’s fate, he said.