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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a news conference in Rome following talks with his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni

    Attempts to Keep Part of Syria Under Nusra Front Control Unacceptable - Lavrov

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    Attempts to keep a part of Syria under the control of the Al-Nusra Front are unacceptable, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at the second edition of the Mediterranean Dialogues international conference in Rome, on Friday, December 2.

    "We have already compromised on some issues, as Staffan de Mistura has voiced a proposal to Nusra Front militants to leave eastern Aleppo without surrendering arms. We were against this idea but we agreed as we wanted to help save lives in Aleppo," Lavrov said at the Rome MED — Mediterranean Dialogues 2016 conference.

    According to Lavrov, a number of countries have rejected de Mistura's proposal.

    "I think it was done because someone could benefit from leaving the eastern part of Aleppo under control of Nusra Front, which is, of course, unacceptable," Lavrov stressed.

    Lavrov said that the current situation in Eastern Aleppo is the result of the failure to dissociate armed opposition from terrorists.

    "In Eastern Aleppo, we are witnessing the result and the latest failures of a number of foreign friends of the Syrian opposition to dissociate the Syrian opposition from the Al-Nusra Front terrorist group, in spite of the obligations that the US took upon itself back in January 2016. They then assured us that in literally a few weeks they would be able to dissociate these groups in Syria. This should have been followed by a beginning of a political process, the solution of humanitarian issues; different opposition groups were to take part in the negotiation process," Lavrov said.

    "Washington made a big mistake when it missed the chance to implement Russian-US agreements on Syria," Lavrov elaborated.

    Talking about joint Russian-US joint efforts to counter terrorism, Lavrov said that Russia is ready to cooperate with the administration of US President-elect Donald Trump in anti-terrorism efforts should Washington show such an intention.

    "If the United States focuses on the fight against terrorism and if it wants to cooperate with Russia, we will certainly be ready," Lavrov said in Rome.


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    terrorists, Al-Nusra Front, Sergei Lavrov, East Aleppo, Syria
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