12:10 GMT +316 October 2019
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    US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives for the meeting with the foreign ministers as part of talks with 17 nations, the European Union and United Nations at Bristol hotel on October 30, 2015 in Vienna, Austria

    Russia-Turkey Relations Not Obstacle in Syrian Peace Process - Kerry

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    US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the relationship between Russia and Turkey does not influence the Syrian peace process.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Strained relations between Moscow and Ankara do not complicated the ongoing efforts to bring a peaceful solution to the Syrian conflict, US Secretary of State John Kerry stated in Paris on Thursday.

    “Both countries are constructively trying to move towards the political process. There are obviously tensions and there are differences, but with respect to the political process, they’re both committed to trying to make that move forward,” the state secretary stated.

    Asked whether the Turkey-Russia relationship is one of the biggest obstacles in that Syrian peace process, Kerry said, “No, it’s actually not.”

    Relations between Moscow and Ankara deteriorated after a Turkish jet brought down a Russian Su-24 aircraft over Syria in November, claiming it had violated Turkish airspace. Both the Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command confirmed that the Russian jet had never crossed into Turkish airspace.

    Kerry announced on Wednesday that the international negotiators will hold the third round of negotiations on the Syrian peace process in New York City on December 18.

    At the first round of Vienna talks, the international mediators worked out a nine-point plan on ending the Syrian civil war, including a definition of national unity, the need to defeat of extremist groups and provide assistance to refugees.

    During the second round of the talks, mediators agreed to uphold the 2012 Geneva communique on a political solution to the Syrian conflict and set a six-month timeframe for Damascus to form an interim unity government, while stipulating that elections in Syria should be held within 18 months.

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    Syrian crisis, John Kerry, Syria, Turkey, Russia, United States
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