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UN chief says Lavrov and Kerry prove Russian-US relationship can be effective

When speaking about the fight against the Islamic State, Ban Ki-moon said there still were people who believed that IS could be destroyed by military means only
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon  EPA/JUSTIN LANE
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UNITED NATIONS, December 21. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry have proven that bilateral relationship can be effective in many areas, outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in an interview with Russian news agencies. He expressed hope that Russia and the US will continue to cooperate despite the remaining differences.

"I appreciate Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Secretary of State John Kerry. Their personal working relationship has proven to be very effective in many areas," Ban Ki-moon noted.

He went on to say that "when the US and Russia agreed to conduct an investigation on chemical weapons (in Syria) then it was most successful, when they agreed to establish the cessation of hostilities we were able to deliver. But unfortunately all the cessations of hostilities were broken by the parties, either by the government of by the Syrian armed groups. That is quite frustrating."

The UN Secretary-General also said that he had always been "urging them [Russia and the US] to continue the work based on the principle of humanity. I sincerely hope that such kind of cooperative relationship, ever though occasionally they have differences, will continue to develop under the new [US] administration."

"Collective failure" in Syria and the fight against IS

According to Ban Ki-moon, the situation in Syria is a result of a "collective failure" of the world community and not only the United Nations which has been trying to arrange talks between Damascus and the Syrian opposition. At the same time, he said that Moscow and Washington were able to improve the situation if they worked together.

The outgoing United Nations Secretary-General noted that "of course, the United Nations is composed of all member states. And I’ve been saying that this is a collective failure." "We have seen that when the United States and the Russian Federation are united they can mobilize much stronger support therefore the unanimous adoption of the resolution (on deploying observers to eastern Aleppo) is commendable," Ban Ki-moon added. He also said that "there are so many divisions that make the Syrian crisis and the Syrian people tragic, the Syrian people themselves are divided, the regional powers are divided and the Security Council is divided. Therefore I’ve been always urging that we have to show global solidarity."

When speaking on the fight against the Islamic State, Ban Ki-moon said that "unfortunately, there are some people who believe that they can eliminate ISIS/Daesh by military means only."

"When there are inclusive political transitions and a political solution, then Daesh cannot find any ground. Because people are frustrated, they have grievances against the leaders, then this provides breeding ground for terrorists, extremists to take roots. Therefore good governance and political solutions will help eliminate ISIS," the outgoing United Nations Secretary-General concluded.