09:57 GMT +320 October 2019
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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during talks with Japanese сcounterpart Taro Kono and Japanese Defense Minister Itunori Onodara in the 2 + 2 format.

    US Policy Toward Venezuela is 'Destructive' - Lavrov

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    Earlier, Washington recognised Venezuelan National Assembly leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim president while calling Nicolas Maduro's presidency "illegitimate" and warning Caracas against the use of force against protesters.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has described the US policy toward Venezuela as "destructive," adding that Moscow considers Washington's open calls to insurrection in the Latin American country as "unacceptable."

    "We know the position of the United States. We know the position of those seeking to toe the line of American politics. The fact that this policy is destructive, in relation to both Venezuela and a whole host of other countries, is something that doesn't need to be demonstrated. The open calls for a coup d'etat are obvious to everyone," Lavrov said, speaking to reporters in Morocco on Friday.

    "We consider such behaviour unacceptable, and consider it to undermine the principles outlined in the UN Charter, as well as the norms of communication between states. And we will speak from these positions at the Security Council if a decision is made to hold a meeting on the situation in Venezuela at the Security Council," Lavrov stressed.

    Venezuela's political crisis escalated this week following an abortive uprising in the capital by members of the national guard. Following the incident, Venezuela's Supreme Court dismissed opposition leader Juan Guaido from his post as National Assembly chairman. On Wednesday, Guaido declared himself the country's interim president, with the US, Canada, and allies in Latin America recognising the politician as such. Caracas responded by announcing that it would be breaking off relations with the United States.

    Any 'Syrian Buffer Zone' Must Include Damascus's Participation

    Turning to the Syrian matter, and US-Turkish negotiations surrounding a proposed 30 kilometre (18 mile) "buffer zone" in Syria between Turkish and Kurdish forces, Lavrov said that any agreement involving Syrian territory must include agreement from Damascus.

    "As for discussions about the buffer zone, the security zone, this cannot be the subject of an agreement between Russia and Turkey. This should be the subject of an agreement with the participation of the Syrian government, because ultimately the need to restore the Syrian government's control over the country's whole territory, including the zone, is clear to everyone. I am convinced that this will be the best solution to the problems that persist in this region; there should be as little foreign interference as possible," the diplomat said.

    Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara would not exclude the US, Russia or other countries if they want to cooperate in the creation of a safe zone in Syria. Last week, following a phone conversation with President Trump, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the US had proposed the creation of a 30 km buffer zone in Syria to be controlled by the Turkish military. Damascus rejected the proposal, with a senior Syrian official telling Syrian media that Ankara had turned "a blind eye to the international resolutions which have always affirmed respect for Syrian territorial integrity."

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