Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks on Thursday in Moscow with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Syrian Arab Republic Walid Muallem.
The talks focused on the military-political situation in Syria after the US missile strike at the Syrian Air Force Shayrat Base early on April 7.
Sergey Lavrov reaffirmed Russia’s invariable stand in support of the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria. He pointed out that Washington’s use of military force in circumvention of the UN Security Council was a gross violation of international law, ran contrary to the goals of fighting international terrorism, threatened regional and global security and undermined the collective efforts taken in Geneva and Astana to promote a political and diplomatic settlement in Syria. The ministers discussed joint moves that can be taken to minimise the negative consequences of the aggressive US action.
At the same time, they pointed out that the April 4 tragedy at Khan Sheikhoun should be thoroughly investigated by a geographically balanced group of OPCW experts. Sergey Lavrov welcomed Damascus’s willingness to let an OPCW mission inspect the Shayrat airfield and to create safe working conditions for the international experts.
Walid Muallem expressed gratitude for Russia’s support for the Syrian people, who have been living for the past six years amid an acute crisis and an open military conflict. The Syrian minister reaffirmed the Syrian government’s resolve to look for compromise solutions to internal political problems in order to end the violence and restore order and stability in the country.
The parties again said that there was no military solution to the Syrian crisis, which can be only settled by political and diplomatic means. In this context, they stressed the importance of continued negotiations in Astana and Geneva between the Syrian Government and the opposition.
While discussing the bilateral agenda, Mr Lavrov and Mr Muallem reaffirmed mutual resolve to continue to develop and strengthen broad bilateral cooperation and outlined ways to enhance the effectiveness of trade, economic and cultural cooperation.