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Moscow expects Washington to shortly assume stance on Syria — expert

According to a Russian expert, pooled efforts of all political players, regardless of their political views, are needed to uproot terrorism in Syria

MOSCOW, January 31. /TASS/. Russia expects that US President Donald Trump will soon make the decision as to Washington’s stance on the Syrian settlement, a senior political adviser to the UN special envoy for Syria told reporters on Monday.

"Maybe this will happen after a G20 meeting or after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin," Vitaly Naumkin said. "He has clearly formulated a bid to cooperate not only with Russia, but also with all who can fight against terrorists," said Naumkin, director of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

He said, however, that there was no clarity on the issue at the moment. "Does this mean that the US will be ready to cooperate in Syria with the Syrian regime and the Syrian army - this is a serious question," he went on. "And if he resolves to do this, won’t it turn out so that the US Congress will simply try to block his decision - we don’t know as of yet. Trump is making very serious moves, bold decisions that are maybe still rough, but the main point is that he is facing a serious opposition that does exist in America," Naumkin said.

According to Naumkin, pooled efforts of all political players, regardless of their political views, are needed to uproot terrorism in Syria.

"The cooperation which began after the liberation [of Palmyra] has now slowed down as it happened so that terrorists, who are still a serious and destructive force, have seized the city again," he said.

He said liberation of Palmyra is a difficult task as it is impossible to use heavy artillery and warplanes in this ancient city to spare it from destruction.

Rebuffing terrorism and liberation of Palmyra requires pooled efforts of "all players who have different vision of Syria’s future," he noted.

"It is a daring task. We must not indulge in dangerous illusions that have recently come into existence that we are within a whisker from liberation of Raqqa and as soon as it is done terrorism will done away with," he underscored. "We should bear in mind that this is a long-standing threat. And serious consolidated efforts of local, regional forces, maybe the Syrian army along with groups that would join it, will be needed."

"So far, it is too early to speak about swift liberation of the city," Naumkin said.