05:28 GMT18 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United States and Russia are discussing steps that should be taken in order to achieve peace in Syria after the cessation of hostilities, Kathleen Kavalec, the US State Department's deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, said.

    “We are also talking with Russia about the path forward, once the fighting has ended, towards peace through the Geneva process. And that is something where, it think, both Russia and the United States agree that we want to see peaceful, stable, unified Syria, and something we can work together on,” Kavalec said in a video, released by the US Embassy in Russia on Tuesday.

    Speaking further, Kavalec said that the US was “really” counting on Russia in the issue of preventing the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria by Damascus.

    “Syria is another area where we have been talking … to see if we can find ways to work together, to try to bring peace to Syria both in the effort to combat ISIS [Daesh, banned in Russia] and in the effort to ensure the safety of Syrian people. For instance, we have had several reports last month about the use of chemical weapons, we really count and depend on Russia to ensure that the Syrian regime stops the use of the chemical weapons,” Kavalec said in a video, released by the US Embassy in Russia on Tuesday.

    The US official noted that Russia had a strong influence on the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and therefore could fulfill its commitment to the destruction of chemical weapons in the Arab country.

    “Russia undertook responsibility and commitment to ensure the destruction of all chemical weapons in Syria, and, unfortunately, they are still being used. Russia has great influence with the Assad regime and Russia needs to live up to the responsibilities it undertook to ensure that chemical weapons would not be used anymore by the Syrian regime,” Kavalec said.

    The US, as well as its regional allies, have numerous times accused Damascus of the alleged use of chemical weapons, the Syrian government, however, has denied all allegations

    READ MORE: Tillerson: US Holds Russia Responsible for Chemical Weapons in Syria

    In most recent case that occurred in late-January, the Syrian opposition White Helmets rescue group operating in militant-held Syrian areas reported that three civilians were killed and many others injured in a suspected chlorine gas attack on Eastern Ghouta. On the same day, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert accused the Syrian authorities of staging the attack.

    Damascus has strongly dismissed the claims, while Russian Envoy to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said at a UN Security Council meeting that all chemical weapons capacity of the Syrian military had been completely destroyed.


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    chemical weapons, U.S. Department of State, Syria, US, Russia
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