Lavrov: Washington’s delay in separating “moderate opposition” from al-Nusra protects terrorists

Paris, SANA – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Washington’s insistence on extending the time given for separating what it calls “moderate opposition” from Jabhat al-Nusra terror organization seems to aim at protecting terrorists.

In a joint press conference with French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault on Wednesday, Lavrov said that the so-called moderate opposition groups are still present in the locations where al-Nusra is located, and that no progress was made in separating them, stressing that Washington’s delay and stalling in separating them allowed terrorists to procure more weapons, equipment, and funding to strengthen their positions.

He demanded that the Americans and the Europeans force these groups to withdraw from al-Nusra areas, as doing otherwise would give the impression that someone wants al-Nusra terrorists to become stronger, which is a violation of Security Council resolutions.

Lavrov also stated that the “Syrian opposition” Russia is cooperating with presented constructive and tangible ideas for resolving the crisis in Syria, while the “Riyadh opposition” only made provocative and non-constructive suggestions which hindered Syrian-Syrian dialogue in Geneva.

The Minister urged UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura to not follow the non-constructive positions of some opposition groups and to resume talks in Geneva with the sides that are willing to become involved in dialogue.

Lavrov reiterated Russia’s commitment to all international agreements on Syria and its readiness to cooperate with all relevant sides, including the Syrian government, opposition groups, and international players, adding that he expects a resumption of cooperation between Russia and Turkey to resolve the crisis in Syria after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologized for shooting down the Russian fighter over Syrian airspace.

He added that there are several questions regarding Turkey’s positions, as the UN resolutions call on all states to prevent the use of their territories by terrorists or by those who provide support for terrorists.

Russian Ambassador in Washington: cooperation between Moscow and Washington is not at dead end

In a relevant context, the Russian Ambassador in Washington Sergey Kislyak said that work between Russia and the US regarding the situation in Syria is not at a dead end, referring to some disagreements between the two sides.

“The sides concerned in the crisis in Syria didn’t discuss yet the possibility of holding a new meeting for the International Syria Support Group,” Russia today quoted Kislyak as saying, adding that there are contacts among the experts in the meantime.

Hazem Sabbagh

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