Syrian solution meeting in Astana to complement Geneva talks: Lavrov

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 7, 2017
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday the upcoming meeting on Syrian settlement in Astana, Kazakhstan, should serve as a complement, not a substitute, to the UN-backed Geneva dialogue.

Lavrov made the remarks during a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault, according to a brief statement published on the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Russia and other potential mediators are expected to meet conflicting parties in Syria in Astana later this month to seek settlement of the chronic civil war, which has claimed more than 300,000 lives and displaced nearly 11 million others.

The Astana meeting will come following a nationwide truce in Syria, brokered by Russia and Turkey last week, between the Syrian government and major opposition groups.

Russia attaches great importance to the forthcoming Astana meeting, which should bring together who really control the situation "on the ground" and are able to perform their obligations, according to Lavrov.

Also on Friday, Russia began to pull military out of Syria with the withdrawal of its aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov from the Mediterranean.

Rounds of intra-Syrian peace talks have taken place in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations, but little progress has been made mainly due to continuous fighting in the Middle Eastern country.

Last month, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said the Geneva dialogue will resume in February. Endit

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