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Lavrov, Zarif and Kerry Discuss Situation in East Aleppo - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Moscow – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed the situation in Syria with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian FM Javad Zarif, stated the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The ministry issued a statement saying that the Syria conflict was the focus of the conversation, in particular the need to normalize the situation in eastern Aleppo.

Initiated by the United States, the phone call took place between Lavrov and Kerry on Wednesday where the Russian FM claimed that the Syrian authorities have long been ready to provide unrestricted exit to blocked militants, but the latter refuse to cease fire, as ordered by their Jabhat al-Nusra leaders.

Lavrov urged the United States to use its influence with the armed opposition groups that are supported by Washington.

The two discussed the humanitarian aspects of the situation in Aleppo, according to the ministry’s statement.

“The Russian side outlined efforts being made by the Syrian authorities with the support of Russia to alleviate the plight of the civilian population,” added the statement.

The statement didn’t mention a ceasefire or the fate of armed groups and civilians still besieged in East Aleppo.

The Russian Ministry also issued another statement saying that FM Lavrov spoke on the telephone with Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The officials discussed the situation in Syria, including the task of crushing ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists and their allies, and solving acute humanitarian problems in that country, including urgent assistance for the population of Aleppo.

The statement added: “They confirmed their commitment to reaching a long-term political settlement of the Syrian problem in keeping with Resolution 2254 of the U.N. Security Council.”

It was clear that Russian media didn’t give the agreement about east Aleppo the same attention it gave to any other deal, no matter how limited it was.

No official statement was issued, expect what few media outlets reported about Hmeymim Russian Airbase, where Syrian regime claimed it was committed to the cease fire, but the armed groups continued fighting, and thus regime forces had to respond.

Concerning an agreement reached between Russia and Turkey, Lavrov commented on the matter saying that safe corridors were open for the fighters.

Sources from east of Aleppo spoke of Iranian conditions that led to the suspension of the latest ceasefire.

Minister Lavrov refrained from commenting on the reasons for the failure of the ceasefire, but he expressed his hopes that the situation in east Aleppo will be solved within the upcoming two or three days.