Lavrov: Progress achieved in last round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva should be bolstered

Moscow, SANA – Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergy Lavrov reiterated the need for bolstering the progress achieved in the last round of the intra-Syrian dialogue in Geneva.

During his meeting with UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura in Moscow on Wednesday, Lavrov said that “we were able to achieve a fragile advance in the settlement process of the crisis in Syria,” pointing out to the importance of bolstering the agreement on the four baskets which were the main topic of Geneva talks, fighting terrorism being one of these four, during the upcoming round of talks.

He stressed that all these aspects constitute the basic requirements provided by the UN Security Council resolution no. 2254.

For his part, de Mistura stressed the necessity of supporting the political efforts for settling the crisis in Syria, pointing out that his visit to Moscow came within the framework of supporting those efforts.

On March 3rd, the fourth round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva wrapped up activities with the participation of the Syrian Arab republic delegation and the opposition delegations, while the next round of talks are scheduled for March 23.

Lavrov: Growing terrorist activities in Syria aim at disrupting Geneva talks

Lavrov affirmed  that growing activities of terrorists in Syria aim at disrupting the Geneva talks, like what happened at the last meeting of Astana.

“As for the militants’ attempts to raise tensions in Syria by stepping up their military activities and carrying out more terrorist attacks, they are aimed at disrupting or complicating the Geneva talks, there can be no doubt about that,” Lavrov said in a press conference with Democratic Republic of Congo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Leonard She Okitundu.

“The same thing happened before the recent Astana meeting when some external forces did everything possible to prevent the opposition from going to Astana. They cited ceasefire violations,” Lavrov pointed out.

He noted that though the Astana platform was set up particularly to solve issues concerning the cessation of hostilities and agree on a mechanism for responding to violations, if someone is concerned over the violations of cessation of hostilities they should participate in the work aimed at making the necessary decisions.

He added that he expected that all those, who had been invited, would come to Geneva and all Syrian parties would have a meaningful conversation.

“Holding a direct conversation is the only way,” the Russian top diplomat noted. “We support the efforts being made by the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura aimed at arranging such dialogue,” Lavrov concluded. Said/H. Zain/ Hazem Sabbagh

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