Russian foreign minister: Sooner Syria crisis ends the better

Russian foreign minister: Sooner Syria crisis ends the better

Wed Nov 2, 2016 3:42PM

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has underlined the necessity of finding a swift political solution to the deadly conflict gripping Syria, particularly the divided city of Aleppo.

Speaking at the start of an official visit to Greece on Wednesday, Lavrov expressed hope that Moscow’s partners would draw the necessary conclusions aimed at “honest cooperation… for a political process involving both the government and opposition forces” in Syria.

“We must come to an agreement, the sooner the better,” he added.

The top Russian diplomat further warned that support for extremists fighting to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is hindering attempts to settle the crisis.

    “Unfortunately… there is sabotage carried out against efforts for a political solution, [and] against the UN Security Council resolution, because some support the extremists who seek to oust” the Damascus government, Lavrov said

The 15-member council unanimously passed Resolution 2249 last November, condemning terrorist attacks and calling on member states to act against al-Qaeda-affiliated militants and the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group wreaking havoc mainly in Syria and Iraq.

Additionally, Lavrov accused Washington of not doing enough to implement the motion.

At the time of adopting the resolution, US Secretary of State John Kerry urged severing links with terrorists, but “almost a year has passed and we await these words to be carried out,” he said.

The Russian foreign minister also accused the United States of repeatedly “withdrawing” from peace efforts in Syria’s battered Aleppo.

“For a few months now we are trying to solve the problems in the city of Aleppo. There were specific Russian-American agreements, but as soon as the agreements were adopted, the United States withdrew from them,” he said.

A week-long ceasefire in Aleppo, brokered by Russia and the US, came to an end on September 19. Damascus refused to extend the deal after US-led warplanes carried out deadly raids on its military base near the eastern city of Dayr al-Zawr in violation of the agreement.

Since March 2011, Syria has been hit by militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies. Moscow and Washington support opposing sides in the conflict.

Turkish, Russian army chiefs exchange views on Syria

In another development on Wednesday, the head of the Turkish armed forces held talks with his Russian counterpart in Moscow on the situation in Aleppo and the fight against Daesh.

According to a statement released by the Turkish military, the negotiations between Turkish General Hulusi Akar and Russian General Valery Gerasimov were held “in a constructive atmosphere.”

“The subjects taken up in the talks were a settlement to the clashes in Syria and normalization of the situation in Aleppo as well as continuing to develop coordination between the two countries with the aim of… ending the threat from Daesh,” the statement said.

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