ASTANA, March 16. /TASS/. The Russian side hopes that the US-led coalition will stop justifying extremists, the way it is happening now in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a ministerial meeting of the Syrian ceasefire underwriters (Russia, Iran and Turkey) on Friday.
"I hope that the US-led international coalition will realize the need to avoid justifying terrorists, the way it is happening now in Eastern Ghouta, but to consistently and uncompromisingly fight with terror organizations, including Jabhat al-Nusra (a terror organization, outlawed in Russia - TASS), no matter how it blends in or what names it takes," the minister said.
"One of the main problems that we talked about with our American colleagues back in the time of the Barack Obama administration is the need to demarcate the proper constructive armed opposition from terrorists, chiefly from Jabhat al-Nusra, which the US coalition still does not want to affect by its actions, though this group is a terror one under the UN Security Council’s resolution," Lavrov stressed.
The foreign ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey are expected to discuss the operation of the Syrian de-escalation zones in Astana, as well as political and humanitarian issues. The foreign ministers plan to make recommendations to Damascus and the opposition on the Syrian settlement and adopt a joint statement.
Consultations between the Russian, Iranian and Turkish delegations were held in the Kazakhstani capital on Thursday, in the run-up to the ministerial meeting. Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Syrian Settlement Alexander Lavrentyev told reporters that confidence between Moscow, Ankara and Tehran has approached a new level and that the sides plan to further develop their relations within the negotiation process.