Serbia: Aim of UN Syria resolution to 'focus on accusing the regime' — Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented on the recent UNSC draft resolution for a ceasefire across Syria during a joint press statement with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic in Belgrade on Thursday. During the press conference, Lavrov stated that from Russia's view, the ceasefire should not «in any way extend to ISIS (the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Jabhat al... Еще-Nusra and the factions that cooperate with them.» He added that Russian military representatives working at the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in the Syrian Arab Republic have recently given “the terrorists the opportunity to leave Eastern Ghouta.” “Jabhat al-Nusra and those who interact with it strongly declined this offer and continue to bombard the city,” the minister continued. Lavrov mentioned that the Russian embassy and trade mission in Damascus have been “repeatedly bombed by mortar shells” from the Eastern Ghouta area. He also said that the goal of those who want to adopt this resolution “without taking into account our fundamental amendments” isn't really helping the civilian population, but «shifting the focus of the Syrian issue from the need to urgently begin the Geneva talks — relying on the success of the Sochi National Congress dialogue — and to focusing on accusing the regime with all manner of sins.» Lavrov expressed his readiness to consider the resolution, adding that Russia proposed: «the formulation that would say that the ceasefire will not in any way extend to ISIS, [or] Jabhat al-Nusra.” “Unfortunately, our Western partners do not want to take such a clear withdrawal of terrorists from the ceasefire,” Lavrov concluded. The latest UN Security Council draft resolution produced by Sweden and Kuwait proposes a 30-day ceasefire across Syria. The proposal will be voted on during Thursday’s UNSC meeting initiated by Russia on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta.


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