Lavrov: Moscow-Washington coordination will continue to prevent violations of cessation of hostilities

Moscow, SANA – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow and Washington agreed to continue to coordinate efforts to prevent violations of the cessation of hostilities in Syria.

In a joint press conference following high-profile meetings in Moscow with his US counterpart John Kerry on Thursday, Lavrov said “Today we’ve agreed to continue coordinating actions in order to secure the cessation of hostilities regime, to curb violations of this regime.”

“As the immediate task, we have agreed to push for the soonest start of direct talks between the government delegations and the whole spectrum of the opposition,” he added.

Lavrov pointed out that the Syrian government has supported the Russian-American initiative approved by presidents Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama and formed by International Syria Support group while the opposition has not done so for long.

The Russian Foreign Minister criticized preconditions set by the opposition that exclude Kurdish groups from the Syrian talks.

He stressed the need to push to have all parties abide by Geneva Communiqué and the Security Council resolution adopted according to this Communiqué.

As for terrorism, Lavrov said that “There are many analysts and political figures, including in the United States who admit that that terrorism was largely triggered by erroneous actions of the West in that region.”

“I’m not even going to remember the Afghanistan campaign, the United States in the 1980s actively contributed to the creation from the Mujahideen movement of an organization that subsequently became the notorious Al-Qaeda,” he added, reminding that “On September 11, 2001 this organization attacked the United States.”

For his part, Kerry said “The cessation of hostilities has largely held, not entirely,” adding that “The overall level of bombing and of shelling has decreased sharply.”

Kerry described the talks he held with the Russian leadership as “very constructive”, noting that they will continue work to make progress towards establishing peace and stability in Syria.

Reem/H. Said