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US not to change Middle East policy despite Putin-Trump statement — Russian senator

The joint statement on Syria made by the Russian and US presidents is "just a piece of paper," which doesn't mean anything for the Americans, Franz Klintsevich said

MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. First Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house) Defense and Security Committee, Franz Klintsevich, has said the joint statement on Syria made by the Russian and US presidents is "just a piece of paper" for the United States expressing confidence that Washington has no intention of changing its policy in the Middle East.

"The joint statement on Syria made following meeting between the Russian and US presidents on the sidelines of the APEC [summit] in Vietnam is, apparently, just a piece of paper, which does not mean anything for the Americans. The US’ refusal to carry out airstrikes against terrorists retreating from Syria’s Abu Kamal and the shameful flow of events around the investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria show beyond doubt that it has no intention of revising its policy in the Middle East," Klintsevich told reporters on Friday. In his view, Washington will step up its anti-Russian rhetoric amid Russia's achievements in Syria.

"It is as clear as day that Russia can only count on the Russia-Iran-Turkey triangle in terms of promoting the peace process in Syria and, above on, on itself, and this process will be extremely difficult," the senator’s press service quotes him as saying.

On Thursday, the UN Security Council refused to vote for the Russian draft resolution on extending the mandate for the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative mechanism (JIM). The document failed to secure the necessary number of votes. Bolivia, Kazakhstan and China supported the Russian draft resolution, while seven countries, including the US, the UK and France, voted against it. Another four Security Council members (Egypt, Senegal, Ethiopia and Japan) abstained.

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said after the vote that the countries that voted against this draft resolution will bear "full responsibility for the termination of activities" of the Joint Investigative Mechanism.

Russian and US Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump made a joint statement on Syria on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, on November 11. The document stated that the two presidents agreed that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict and reaffirmed that the final political settlement should be found within the framework of the Geneva process in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.