• No secret talks with US on Syria: Russia’s Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says there are no secret talks between Moscow and Washington over Syria.

"No secret negotiations are being conducted between Russia and the US," Lavrov said at a press conference on Monday, adding that a “normal regime of working consultation” is being conducted between the two sides as the “co-chairs of the International Syria Support Group and the co-chairs of the two target subgroups created in that group."

Lavrov noted that one subgroup “is on ceasefire and on the observance of its conditions and the second is on the solution of issues that prevent the delivery of humanitarian assistance in the entire territory of Syria.”

He added that “considerable” progress has been made on both tracks.

A truce, brokered by the US and Russia, went into effect across Syria on February 27. However, it does not apply to terrorist groups such as Daesh and al-Qaeda’s Syria branch, al-Nusra Front.

Lavrov further stressed that a number of countries in the Middles East, including Turkey, have been supporting the so-called Plan B for Syria.

The plan was prepared by the US and its regional allies and is aimed at providing vetted “moderate” militant groups with weapons systems that would enable them to launch attacks against Syrian government aircraft and artillery positions.

Washington has said the Plan B will come into effect if the ceasefire deal fails to reduce hostilities in Syria.

"Despite the denial from Washington, there are many who want to think about such Plan B: if not right in the heart of the Pentagon or other US agencies, then in the region. I will mention, specifically, Turkey, which continues attempts to interfere using military methods," Lavrov said.

He noted that some states were preparing the plan in the hope that “the negotiations on Syria will fail and then new weapons can be pumped into Syria” for military acts aimed at overthrowing the Damascus government.



Apr 18, 2016 19:50 UTC