December 14th, 2016
Kerry assures Lavrov US is working with opposition groups that sabotage intra-Syrian talks – Lavrov told his US counterpart that Damascus was ready to give the militants a free exit from besieged Aleppo
US Secretary of State assured Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that Washington has been working with opposition groups that sabotage intra-Syrian talks, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
“While considering prospects for a political solution, John Kerry assured [Lavrov] that the US is working with those groups of opposition who sabotage the UN Security Council’s demand to urgently relaunch the intra-Syrian talks without any prior conditions,” the ministry said.
In a phone conversation Lavrov clarified the joint efforts of Russia and Syria aimed at alleviating the conditions of civilians in Aleppo:
“The parties discussed the humanitarian aspects of the situation in Aleppo. The Russian top diplomat clarified the steps that Syrian government has been taking with Russia’s assistance in order to alleviate the conditions of civilians in Aleppo,” the statement reads.
“Sergey Lavrov pointed out the fact the Syrian government had been prepared to assure free access to the encircled militants from Aleppo for a long time but the latter refused to stop combat actions under the impact of Jabhat al-Nusra warlords,” the report said.
“The [Russian] minister called on the US to influence the units of the militant opposition, which Washington gives support to,” it said.