Internationally brokered talks between Syria’s government and opposition groups should start this month as planned, Russia and the United States said on Wednesday, despite no sign of agreement on who should represent the opposition.
Speaking after meeting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Switzerland, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said neither of them had thought about seeking a postponement of the talks, which are scheduled to start in Geneva on Jan. 25.
“We have no intentions to postpone the talks from January to February. This is both the position of Russia and the United States, and we are confident that in the next days, in January, such talks must start.”
Lavrov said various dates were being mooted, but the final decision was for the U.N. Secretary General on the advice of his special envoy for Syria, Staffan De Mistura.
“We hope the negotiating process will begin this month,” Lavrov said. “I stress that this will be just the start, because of course it will take a lot of time, a whole range of arduous tasks are to be resolved.”
Kerry’s spokesman, John Kirby, said Kerry and Lavrov discussed “the importance of maintaining progress toward a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria.”
“There’s been no change in our desire to see this meeting happen on the 25th, and the Secretary reiterated that,” he said.
Kirby said Kerry also pressed Russia to use its influence with President Bashar al-Assad to ensure unimpeded humanitarian access to Syrians, especially those in besieged areas such as Madaya where people are reported to have died from starvation.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر