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Russia Wants Increased US Role in Syrian Reconciliation

20.03.2017 17:43

Russia would like the United States to play a more constructive role in Syrian conflict settlement efforts, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Monday.

"Of course," Bogdanov told reporters, recounting the co-chairmanship of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) by the two countries' top diplomats.

"This practice took place, and it seems to us that it would be good not only to continue it, but also to strengthen it," he stressed.

Moreover, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is expected to travel to Moscow ahead of Thursday, March 23 intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

"De Mistura will arrive in Moscow in a few days, before the beginning of negotiations on March 23," Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told reporters.

At an ISSG meeting in Munich in February 2016, Russian and US foreign ministers said that they had agreed to influence the parties to Syrian conflict to reach a nationwide ceasefire. The resulting cessation of hostilities, which went into force on February 27, was an important step forward in the resolution of the conflict, despite its failure to hold on.

The second attempt at truce was brokered by the United States and Russia in September 2016, but did not last long.

In late December 2016, Russia and Turkey brokered another ceasefire, which was followed by the talks on Syrian reconciliation in the Kazakh capital of Astana.

In February 2017, Vitaly Naumkin, Russia's adviser to UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, said that Russia continued cooperating with the United States within the ISSG.