Lavrov: US, Russian positions on Syria come closer

Russian foreign minister claims Washington and Moscow’s stances towards Syria getting closer as they maintain high-level talks

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The United States and Russia have been approaching each other on the Syrian conflict after high-level contacts established this month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

"Indeed, I think our positions with the United States are getting closer, first and foremost in regard to statements that there can be no alternative to a political solution in Syria," Lavrov told in a news conference.

Lavrov criticised the US for its support to some armed opposition that have been fighting against Bashar al Assad regime as he said Russia has considered this approach "short-sighted."

The parties broadly discussed Syria when the US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Moscow on May 12 and met with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and FM Lavrov, but remained stuck as they only reiterated their official stances towards the problem.

Kerry and Lavrov maintained high-level talks last week via a phone call in which both sides were seeking the ways of convergence on the regional security issues, most notably in Syrian and Yemeni conflicts.

Russia has so far supported the Assad regime together with Iran whereas the US and other Western allies together with the Gulf Arab dynasties have long been insisting on the regime change in Syria.

Since the Geneva talks, the US and Russia have been clashing over the ongoing Syrian crisis for which the parties could not have converged on how to end the civil war engulfing the Assad regime in Damascus.

The advancement of ISIS in Iraq and Syria has stranded both Washington and Moscow, but diminished some policy differences and difference in attitudes towards Syria between the US and Russia.

The US signed an agreement with Turkey on training of moderate Syrian opposition fighters against the Assad regime on Feb. 17.

According to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Syrian opposition forces have already begun taking part in the programme in Turkey’s central province of Kirsehir, which aims to provide training for up to 2,000 fighters by the end of this year.

The UN and London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights group, which tracks the conflict from Britain through contacts on the ground announced last month that over 220,000 people have been killed in the four years of Syrian conflict.

TRTWorld and agencies