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Russia’s top diplomat urges US to focus on UN-approved missions for Syria

"I have always assumed that we share common goals with the US on key tasks," Sergey Lavrov said

MOSCOW, July 21. /TASS/. Moscow is urging Washington and other foreign players to concentrate on missions for Syria approved by the UN Security Council, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

"CIA Director Mike Pompeo stated in an interview that Russia and the US have different aims in Syria. In a follow-up question he replied that Russia is seeking a warm-water port in the Mediterranean," the foreign minister said. "Thanks for reminding us that it is a warm-water port. I have read that the US has ten bases in Syria," he added.

"It appears that Mr. Pompeo wants the same (thing) as we do in Syria. Only several times more," the top diplomat resumed. According to Lavrov, Russia is not staying mum on the two bases it has in Syria on the basis of intergovernmental agreements.

"Their task is to assist in fighting the terrorists, who are still quite numerous there," Lavrov reiterated. "The US is keeping its bases under wraps, as they have no legal foundation, which is obvious to everyone," Lavrov continued.

"Nevertheless, I have always assumed that we share common goals with the US on key tasks - fighting terrorism, and purging the Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra (both outlawed in Russia) and others like them from Syrian soil," the foreign minister pointed out.

"Also, the implementation of the agreements on a political settlement based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which clearly stipulates that only Syrians themselves can shape their future," the senior diplomat went on.

"If these goals have stopped living up to Mr. Pompeo’s standards for some reason, this is sad," he said. "I’d prefer that all participants in the peace process and those combating terrorism in Syria, including military, diplomats and secret services, concentrate on those missions, which the UN Security Council approved unanimously," he concluded.