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Lavrov urges to focus on wiping out remaining hotbeds of terrorism in Syria

Russia's top diplomat hopes that intra-Syrian dialogue will help the Syrian people join efforts and wipe out the terrorist threat in the country for good

MOSCOW, January 22./TASS/. The task to suppress separate hotbeds of terrorism in Syria persists, the start of an intra-Syrian dialogue will help to pool efforts to cope with this threat, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting with the leader of Syria’s unified opposition delegation, Nasr al-Hariri.

"The Caliphate, as the goal of ISIS [the former name of the outlawed in Russia terrorist group Islamic State - TASS] has failed to materialize, but the task of crushing separate hotbeds of terrorism still remains," Lavrov said.

"We expect that an advance of the intra-Syrian dialogue will help to join efforts of all Syrians to ultimately root out the terrorist threat in that country," he said.

Syria peace process

The Syrian ceasefire guarantor nations, namely Russia, Iran and Turkey, have invited all major regional and international players to take part in the Syrian National Dialogue Congress due to be held in Russia’s Sochi, Sergey Lavrov added. 

"We tried to make the lists of those invited to see to it that the goal of having all representatives of Syrian society gather in one room be achieved," he said. "Along with my Iranian and Turkish counterparts, we have invited all major regional and international external players to take part in the congress."

"I am convinced that once we all act in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254, very soon we will see a constructive process in Sochi that will make it possible to reach major Syrian settlement agreements, including a constitutional reform and United Nations-monitored free elections on its basis, as envisaged by UN Security Council Resolution 2254," Lavrov stressed.

The Syrian National Dialogue Congress is scheduled to be held in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi on January 29-30. Along with the Syrian sides, it is expected to be attended by observers, including from the United Nations. In all, the congress is expected to bring together about 1,500 participants. The congress’ key task is to set up a commission on working out Syria’s new constitution.