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Russia Criticizes US Over Syria Following Talks Between Putin, Pompeo

Russia Criticizes US Over Syria Following Talks Between Putin, Pompeo

Thursday, 16 May, 2019 - 13:30
mage distributed by Sana News Agency for returnees from Rukban refugee camp.
Moscow – Raed Jabr

The Kremlin expressed its satisfaction with the results of talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that took place on Tuesday evening.

It announced that discussions, which were attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, lasted for one hour and a half and tackled international and regional issues, with focus on the Syrian case.

Presidential Aide for International Affairs Yury Ushakov said talks were “rich and good.”

In the Syrian context, Ushakov said they discussed the importance of collectively fighting against terrorism worldwide and noted that it is very important to finally launch the Syrian constitutional committee.

He explained that “the discussion was business-like and constructive, and it revealed many aspects on which we have similar positions.”

Russia once again emphasized that “the only basis for overcoming the conflict is in a peaceful negotiations process under the auspices of the UN with the participation of all constructive forces,” the Russian presidential aide said.

“At the same time, the President stressed that it is important to respect Syria's sovereignty and strive for preserving its territorial integrity.”

However, this tone was not reflected in the statements of prominent Russian diplomats, who rebuked Washington for its moves in Syria directly after the meeting.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov pointed to a Russian concern over the presence of the United States in areas east Euphrates, adding that Washington “is trying to obstruct Syria’s restoration of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“We certainly believe that the Kurdish presence is necessary in terms of the general development of the situation and the prospects for a settlement.”

Yet, he added, “we are against trading on its interests, which is done by some of our colleagues and partners.”

“We consider the meeting with Pompeo will help in achieving progress, including the issue of ending the formation of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, which is very important.”

“Our colleagues from other guarantor countries are in constant contact with Russia’s representatives at the political and practical level,” Ryabkov said.

Separately, Moscow and Damascus held the US responsible for the slow evacuation of civilians from al-Rukban Camp.

They said this increases the number of victims and the suffering of tens of thousands of Syrians, who are forcibly held there.

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