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Moscow: Agreement Nearly Reached over Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, right, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talk during their meeting in Moscow May 7, 2013. Photo: Reuters

Moscow – The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that its minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry have agreed to discuss the Syrian file in Geneva on Thursday and Friday, according to Interfax Agency.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Russian foreign ministry on Wednesday condemned Turkey’s military operations in Syria, describing them as a violation to international laws.

“The Foreign Ministry expresses grave concern about the advance of the Turkish troops and armed groups of the Syrian opposition it supports further into Syrian territory, and stresses that these actions are not being coordinated with the legitimate Syrian Government and are undertaken without approval of the U.N. Security Council,” the statement said.

It added that Turkey’s actions could “further complicate an already challenging military and political situation in Syria and negatively affect international efforts to devise a settlement platform that would ensure a more sustainable ceasefire, uninterrupted humanitarian access and would provide a solid foundation for conciliation and overcoming the crisis in this country.”
Also on Wednesday, the ministry said that a telephone conversation initiated by the U.S. took place between Lavrov and Kerry.

The statement, issued on the ministry’s website, added that the foreign ministers “worked through the remaining details of agreements on establishing Russian-U.S. cooperation to combat terrorist groups in Syria, expand humanitarian access, and launch an intra-Syrian political process.”

The ministry also said that Lavrov and Kerry will meet in Geneva on September 8-9 to continue discussions over the Syrian crisis.

According to the statement, the Russian foreign minister expressed “indignation over new U.S. sanctions on Russia imposed under the pretext of the Ukraine crisis.”

He also emphasized that good cooperation, including on settling regional conflicts, which the Obama administration continues to seek during working contacts, is impossible without observing a basic code of conduct, the statement added.