18:35 GMT31 July 2021
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    Lavrov and Kerry discussed the normalization of the situation in eastern Aleppo controlled by militants, including al-Nusra Front terrorist group.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US State Secretary John Kerry discussed in a phone conversation on Tuesday the settlement of the Syrian conflict focusing on the efforts to normalize the situation around the Syrian city of Aleppo, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

    "The sides continued the discussion of the ways to resolve the Syrian conflict, including the strict implementation of the UN Security Council's resolution on resumption of intra-Syrian reconciliation talks without any preconditions, as well as the normalization of the situation in eastern Aleppo, where illegal armed groups, led by al-Nusra Font, have entrenched," the ministry said in a statement.

    Over the recent months, Aleppo has been a major battleground in Syria, engaging government forces, jihadists, and numerous opposition groups. Eastern Aleppo is held by militants, encircled by government forces, and the fighting has affected thousands of civilians still trapped in the city.

    In October, a humanitarian pause was introduced in Aleppo to ensure the safe evacuation of civilians and unarmed militants from eastern parts of the city through designated corridors. That pause collapsed when the militants from the Jabhat Fatah al Sham, previously known as al-Nusra Front attacked civilians, preventing them from fleeing the city.



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