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Russia interested in discussing Syrian settlement with Qatar - Lavrov

On April 12, Lavrov discussed Syrian issues with the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

MOSCOW, April 15. /TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he was planning to discuss with Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani settlement of the Syrian situation.

"As for the international problems, we are interested in comparing our estimations of the efforts on settlement of the Syrian crisis, where Qatar is playing a big role," he said, adding it is important for Moscow not to slow down the Russian-Qatari contacts for discussing bilateral issues and problems of the Middle East and Northern Africa.

"Our leaders met last January, and then you visited us in August 2016 in Sochi, and now we shall have a good opportunity to see how the agreements of those meetings progress," the Russian minister added.

Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the ministers would discuss the situation in Syria, fighting terrorism and expansion of economic relations between the two countries.

"The meeting in Moscow will make it possible to coordinate positions on the key developments on the Middle East with an emphasis on finding options for resolving crisis situations there and the need to counter the threat of international terrorism. The ministers will exchange of views on a wide range of relevant issues of regional and international agenda and further development of bilateral relations," an official with the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"An important role in building up business cooperation between Moscow and Doha belongs to the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation under the co-chairmanship of Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak and the Minister of Energy and Industry of the State of Qatar, Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sadi. The next, third, meeting of the commission has been slated for late April in Doha," an official with the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The recent days saw aggravation of the situation in Syria.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, on April 4, Syrian aviation bombed workshops, where militants produced ammunition with poisonous substances. That ammunition had been supplied to Iraq and used in Aleppo.

However, Washington, without waiting for an objective investigation of the incident, stated that Damascus used chemical weapons. The US military struck a missile attack by launching 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a military airfield in the Syrian province of Homs. According to Washington, a chemical attack was allegedly launched from that field.

The further development of the situation in Syria as result of the US strike became the main topic of the series of talks held in Moscow recently.

On April 12, Lavrov discussed Syrian issues with the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

On April 13, the Russian minister held a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, and on April 14 - trilateral consultations took place with the participation of the foreign ministers of Russia, Syria and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.