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US studying Russia plan for Syria crisis settlement: Lavrov

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov ©Reuters

The Russian foreign minister says the United States is reflecting on a plan proposed by Moscow in an attempt to resolve the deadly crisis gripping Syria.

"We have proposed an absolutely specific scheme during our contacts with Washington, which they [US authorities] have now started considering,” Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Russian daily Moskovsky Komsomolets on Tuesday.

Without elaborating on the details of the plan, Lavrov expressed hope that Washington’s contemplation of the Russian proposal will not take too long.

Washington has begun to realize that it is “counterproductive” to refuse coordinating efforts in the fight against the Daesh terrorists operating in Syria, the top Russian diplomat further noted that

Since September 2014, the US along with some of its allies has been conducting air raids against the alleged Daesh elements without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate, but the strikes attacks have failed to disband the extremists.

But Russia launched its campaign against Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria last September upon a request from the Damascus government. The air raids have expedited the advances of Syrian forces against militants.

Russia’s international partners are trying to hold Moscow responsible for the situation in Syria, but, at the same time, they are asking it to settle the problem of Syria and “ensure a ceasefire” there.

The latest round of negotiations between delegates from the Syrian government and divided opposition were suspended in the Swiss city of Geneva on February 3 following the opposition’s failure to show up.

Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations special envoy for Syria, announced a halt to the peace talks until 25 February, arguing there was “more work to be done.”

Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria (2nd L), sits facing Syria's main opposition group during peace talks at the UN Offices in Geneva , Switzerland, February 1, 2016. ©AFP

Analysts say the opposition refused to continue the Geneva discussions after the Syrian army, backed by Russian air power, made significant gains against the Takfiri militant groups on several fronts in the Arab country.

The foreign-backed conflict in Syria, which began in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 260,000 people and displaced almost half of the country’s population.


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