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Putin Reveals Expanded Cooperation with US on Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on after a meeting with President of Iceland Gudni Johannesson at sidewalks of the International Arctic Forum in Arkhangelsk, Russia, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (Sergei Karpukhin/Pool photo via AP)

Moscow- Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed on Thursday that Moscow’s cooperation with the United States on the Syrian war is expanding.

“In some sensitive areas, such as cooperation in Syria, real cooperation is being established — it’s deepening and expanding. We feel the interest of our American partners in the development of this cooperation. It is a very important signal,” Putin said.

The Russian president was speaking at an international forum on the Arctic organized by Russia in the northern city of Arkhangelsk.

Without explaining its nature, Putin hoped that the US-Russian cooperation would expand to other regions in the world.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova criticized on Thursday French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.

France’s attempts to demand the ouster of the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar Assad, as a condition for humanitarian aid to the country are paradoxical, Zakharova said.

She said “an impression is created that this is already some sort of blackmail, that Paris has completely lost the concept of human values.”

Zakharova also criticized some Western media outlets “for trying to find excuses to the terrorists.”

She expressed Moscow’s “disappointment” at the media’s attempts “to picture the battles as victories made by the Syrian opposition against the regime.”

Zakharova described the regime’s operations in Damascus’ countryside as anti-terror operations, saying the Russian foreign ministry believes the Syrian battlefield is “tense.”

She also hoped that the delegations participating in the Geneva talks would express readiness to achieve common ground in order to move the political process forward.