Russian, Syrian, and Iranian Foreign Ministers Meet in Moscow
Oct. 28, 2016 (EIRNS)—The foreign ministers of Syria, Russia, and Iran, Walid Muallem, Sergey Lavrov, and Mohammad Javad Zarif, held trilateral talks on Syrian developments on Oct. 28 in Moscow. In statements made by Lavrov and published in TASS, the Russian Foreign Minister stressed the need to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions on not supporting terrorist groups in Syria, and made pointed remarks about the lack of cooperation from the United States, in particular. Here are some of the highlights.
In direct reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s call for a Marshall Plan for Syria at the Valdai Discussion, Lavrov said, "Putin suggested giving thought without delay to some equivalent of a Marshall Plan for reconstruction in Syria." He also said that both Russia and Iran are committed to maintaining the territorial integrity of Syria.
On the United Nations, Lavrov said,
"Russia and Iran welcome the Syrian government’s readiness to enhance cooperation with the UN in solving humanitarian issues.... We believe that the UN representatives should act impartially, refrain from responding to provocations, and do everything possible to confront terrorists in Syria."
He reiterated that neither Russian or Syrian war planes have conducted any operations for the past 10 days, that therefore claims that they are responsible for attacks are false.
Lavrov emphasized that the United States has not implemented its agreement to separate moderate opposition and terrorists, saying "there is no progress and, to tell the truth, I do not expect any further progress, at least in the immediate future," Lavrov said.
"I am going to remind that this separation was linked to a seven-day silence regime during which Americans promised to show us in their maps where there were terrorists and where not."
He continued that although Russia and Syria have unilaterally implemented a humanitarian pause, the United States once again failed to convince the so-called moderate opposition to dissociate itself from Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the former Nusra or Jabhat al-Nusra. Furthermore, instead of letting civilians leave, the corridors have turned out to be under militants’ aimed fire.
The three foreign ministers discussed the situation in Iraq, emphasizing that they will seek collaboration with Iraq in order to prevent a terrorists’ exodus from Mosul with their weapons and heavy vehicles, which would, of course, aggravate the situation in Syria.
"We cannot let terrorists leave [Mosul] so they could redirect their activities towards Syria," Lavrov said, pointing to the joint intelligence center established in Baghdad by Iraq, Iran, and Russia and noting that it could be be more relevant than before, especially in light of the situation in Mosul.
Syrian Foreign Minister Muallem complained that there has been no contact with the U.S.-led anti-terrorist coalition and questioned its effectiveness.
"The U.S. admits the roles of Russia and Iran [in resolving the Syria crisis] but cannot cooperate with us," Muallem said. "We have no trust in the United States. We are certain it will not meet its commitments."