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Moscow welcomes Damascus-Kurds contacts in northern Syria

Sergei Lavrov said Russia supported contacts between Kurdish representatives and Damascus"with the aim to agree on how to restore life to normal within a common state and without outside intervention"

MOSCOW, January 16. /TASS/. Russia welcomes the beginning of contacts between the Syrian authorities and the Kurds in northern Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference on Wednesday devoted to the results of 2018.

"The Kurds must enjoy all the necessary conditions in their traditional homelands," he said. "We welcome and support the contacts that have begun between Kurdish representatives and the Syrian authorities with the aim to agree on how to restore life to normal within a common state and without outside intervention."

Lavrov recalled that the United States, which earlier declared its pullout from Syria, had created "a couple of dozen facilities, apparently military ones, including rather large bases" on the eastern bank of the Euphrates.

"It is common knowledge that they (the Americans) have armed the Kurdish self-defense forces cooperating with them. The question arises (our Turkish partners are among those who ask this question) what will happen to these armaments and these military facilities," Lavrov said. "We are certain that the optimal and only way out will be putting these territories under the control of the Syrian government, Syrian armed forces and Syrian administrative agencies."

About the prospects for the US pullout from Syria Lavrov recalled a saying by US author Mark Twain: "Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times."

Lavrov said that making fine promises was an American tradition: "First it was announced the pullout will follow in two months, then it was stated that it should be expected not in two months but in six, and then it was hinted the pullout might be delayed much longer.".