22:47 GMT23 November 2020
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    There will be no real ceasefire until the smuggling on the Turkish-Syrian border is stopped, Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

    MUSCAT (Sputnik) – Stopping the smuggling through the Turkish-Syrian border is one of the main conditions for a ceasefire in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

    “I’ll remind you that one of the key conditions for a ceasefire to work is to stop smuggling over the Turkish-Syrian border which is feeding the militants. Without closing it [the border], it is difficult to expect that a real ceasefire may be implemented,” Lavrov said in Oman. 

    The Russian diplomat said he shared Moscow's views with his US co-chairs in the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), 17 regional and world powers with three international organizations that brokered the ongoing intra-Syrian talks in Geneva.

    "We have our own views on this matter, purely pragmatic approach dictated by the necessity for this ceasefire to take place in practice," Lavrov stressed.

    He further said he hoped the ISSG would continue a "more specific conversation" in Munich on February 11.

    Despite Turkish border officials conducting near daily arrests of people illegally crossing the 61-mile Turkish-Syrian border, reports from the ground suggest up to 400 illegal daily crossings.

    The Russian General Staff continues reporting Aerospace Forces combat aircraft destroying terrorist oil convoys en route from Syria to Turkey, claimed to be the main market for smuggled oil.


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