Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has held a round of talks with UN envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen on the Syrian crisis and preparations for a new round of negotiations among the members of the Syrian constitutional committee.
Russian analysts described Pedersen’s fifth visit to Moscow since he assumed his mission as part of consultations to announce a new date for the committee meeting, which Russia had expected to be held last month.
Lavrov kicked off the meeting with Pedersen by noting that the Syria settlement process is moving forward despite the coronavirus pandemic.
"We can see that despite objective difficulties, primarily, the coronavirus pandemic, the Syria settlement process is moving forward," Lavrov pointed out.
"We have also taken note of the need to further boost political efforts to resolve the issue, as well as of the steps that you are taking in order to resume the constitutional committee’s activities. We expect that the plans that we agreed with the Syrian parties, including Damascus, will be implemented after all," he added.
The Russian FM said the situation in much of the Syrian territory had been “remarkably stable,” but at the same time, he noted that the war against terrorists remains to be of great importance in light of the ongoing presence of terrorist hotbeds in Syria.
Lavrov also pointed out that the current urgent tasks are to establish a peaceful life in the country, provide humanitarian assistance to civilians and create conditions for the return of refugees.
“Additional requirements highlight the intensification of efforts to reach a political settlement and we see steps (the UN envoy) takes to resume the activities of the constitutional committee as soon as possible. We hope that the plans agreed upon with the Syrian parties, including Damascus, will be in the process of being implemented,” he said.
Referring to Moscow’s support for the efforts of Pedersen to set a new date for the constitutional committee, Lavrov announced that his country was “particularly responsible for the success of this work under the UN envoy’s leadership.”
The Russian Minister referred to the US movements in the Euphrates region, explaining that the continued foreign presence in Syria, which does not meet the standards of unconditional respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Syria, needs to be addressed.
Meanwhile, a Russian Foreign Ministry statement said Friday that following his talks with Lavrov, Pedersen met with the Russian President’s Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa Countries, Deputy FM Mikhail Bogdanov.
The Ministry said the two officials discussed the importance of efforts to resolve the crisis in Syria in line with Security Council Resolution 2254 including ensuring steady work of the constitutional committee.