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Moscow ready for cooperation with US on combatting terrorists in Syria

MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. Moscow is completely ready for cooperation with US President-elect Donald Trump in countering terrorism in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday at the Mediterranean Dialogues forum.

"I cannot make guesses [about perspectives of signing an agreement on Syria with the Trump administration - TASS]. I rely on facts only," he said. "And the fact is that during his election campaign Donald Trump repeatedly said that one of his priorities would be combatting Islamic State (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) and other groups in Syria."

"When his foreign policy team is formed, when he is inaugurated and begins to take some steps in the official capacity, we will take his position and statements into consideration," the Russian top diplomat stressed. "If the United States focuses on combating terrorism and demonstrates openness for cooperation with Russia, we will be completely ready for that."

"By the way, three year ago, our colleagues from the current U.S. administration said the demand of Bashar Assad’s resignation as a preliminary condition was a mistake. They said it is much more important for the United States’ interests to uproot terrorists in Syria than to topple Assad," Lavrov noted. "As a matter of fact, Trump is saying the same."

According to the Russian top diplomat, Moscow is ready "to react positively to any proposals concerning cooperation in settling global problems." "Our position is as follows: we should wait for the US new administration to begin its work," he added.