10:11 GMT +323 May 2018
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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks at his news conference at the Russian Embassy in Washington, U.S

    US Bill Against Assad Backers Diverts World From Syrian Settlement - Lavrov

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    The adoption by the US House of Representatives of the law on punishment for cooperation with the Syrian government diverts the international community from the task of preventing the taking of Syria by terrorists, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday.

    NICOSIA (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives passed a bill imposing sanctions against foreign backers providing support, including military assistance, to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    "All this, of course, is taking place [the US coalition's strike on Syrian pro-government forces] amid growing calls from Washington and a number of other Western capitals to stop all contacts with Bashar Assad. The US Congress [House of Representatives], as you know, has already passed a bill that calls for punishing all those who cooperate with the legitimate government of Syria," Lavrov said.

    "Of course, all this leads us away from the Syrian settlement and from the main task within this settlement — to prevent the seizure of Syria and other parts of the Middle East by terrorists," he told reporters, adding that it actually meant connivance to terrorists.

    On Thursday, a US defense official told Sputnik that the US-led coalition fighting the Daesh terrorist group (banned in Russia) conducted a strike in southern Syria against Syrian pro-government forces which were operating in the established de-confliction zone.

    sanctions, Bashar al-Assad, Sergei Lavrov, Syria, United States
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