04:08 GMT27 September 2020
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    Russia's top diplomat said no one could benefit from delays in the political settlement of the Syrian conflict. Moscow hopes the new US administration to be more engaged in the fight against terrorism, he added.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — There are no sides that could be satisfied from a delay in the process to settle the Syrian crisis politically, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

    "Further delay cannot suit anyone," Lavrov told reporters at a press conference after talks with his counterpart from Burkina Faso.

    Lavrov hailed the Astana initiative, through two rounds of meetings in the past two months, for "helping end the period of endless waiting on the part of UN colleagues" and "certain political opposition immigrants."

    "I met the other day in Bonn with [US State Secretary] Rex Tillerson. Of course, we discussed the situation in Syria, especially from the point of view of the fighting against international terrorism which was declared a priority of the administration of [president] Donald Trump," Lavrov said.

    The Russian minister expressed hope that "as soon as this team is formed, it will be actively involved in our joint efforts and that these efforts will be based on the interests of both the international community and the United States much more solidly than the efforts of their predecessors."

    Lavrov said Monday he hopes the US special presidential envoy for the US-led coalition against the Daesh jihadist group's comments on cooperation with Russia reflect the views of the Obama administration.

    Brett McGurk said Sunday at the Munich Security Conference "a question mark in our eyes" remains in a potential "way forward" for Russian-US cooperation on the ground.

    "This is the position of the previous administration. I would even say the Pentagon's position under the previous administration. I hope that this is just the inertia of old approaches because, I repeat, Mr. McGurk is a representative of the Obama administration," Lavrov told reporters.

    The Astana talks on Syrian crisis settlement brought together the representatives of the Syrian government and the armed opposition groups for the first time in the six years of the Syrian war. As a result of the talks, Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to establish a trilateral mechanism to monitor the ceasefire that came into effect on December 30, 2016.

    Lavrov: UN Should Remedy Situation With Not Inviting Moscow Group to Geneva Talks

    The United Nations should remedy the situation with not inviting a Moscow-based Syrian opposition group to the next round of reconciliation talks in Geneva, Lavrov said.

    "The fact that representatives of the Moscow group did not receive an invitation, Qadri Jamil in particular, is of course sad," Lavrov told reporters.

    Moscow has "sent an appropriate signal" to UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, Lavrov said, "drawing his attention to the unacceptability of such a selective approach to forming the opposition delegation."

    "I will repeat that in this case sending an invitation is not some kind of goodwill gesture, it is the duty of our colleagues form the UN," Lavrov added.

    The Russian diplomat stressed that the "current situation could very well be corrected" ahead of the Geneva talks, scheduled for Thursday, February 23.

    "Of course, these negotiations that were announced in Geneva cannot be constructed in violation of Resolution 2254. It requires our UN colleagues to invite the government delegation and the delegation of the entire spectrum of the opposition," Lavrov added.


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