Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson at a joint press conference summed up the results of negotiations in Moscow.
Among the main topics of discussion included the Syria, Ukraine, North Korea and bilateral issues. The issue of sanctions in the negotiations was not raised.
The Secretary of state arrived in Moscow yesterday. Before the visit to Russia, Tillerson made a tough statement on Syria, urging Moscow to «choose» between the partnership with the United States to support Bashar al-Assad.
Find «the irritants in the relationship»
«The negotiations were thorough and open, swept the whole range of issues that are key to our bilateral relations, interaction in international Affairs,» Lavrov said at a press conference after a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.
«We reaffirmed our shared commitment to an uncompromising struggle against international terrorism,» he said, noting that this topic several times on the phone discussing [by] the leaders of Russia and the United States.
Thus, according to the Minister, Moscow sees attempts to hinder cooperation between the two countries and aggravate the confrontation.
«I think that in the US, in Russia there are enough sensible people who will be able to separate the wheat from the chaff, and which can still be guided by indigenous, non-engaged [in] the interests of our peoples, our countries and the entire international community,» Lavrov added.
According to him, «history has proven, when Moscow and Washington cooperate, benefit not only [for] our peoples, but also the whole world.»
The Russian foreign Minister said that Moscow and Washington will appoint a special representative, without emotion to identify «irritants in the relationship.»
The incident in Idlib
Lavrov said that he discussed with Tillerson [the] incident himachali [?] in Idlib and saw the United States' readiness to support an international investigation into these events.
«In the context of the fight against terrorism we discussed the situation in Syria and touched upon the incident which occurred after April 4 in Syria near Idlib had used chemicals, and the ensuing missile attack (by) United States [on] military airfield on 7 April,» he said.
The Minister stressed that Russia «did not try to shield and insists on an objective investigation of the events in Idlib».
«I want to emphasize our absolute conviction that if our colleagues in the UN in the Hague will wriggle out of this investigation, it will mean that they do not want to establish the truth. And we will insist on it», — he [Lavrov] added.
According to the head of the Russian foreign Ministry, Moscow has not seen «any evidence,… the characteristics common to say that there was any poisonous substance».
The Minister also added that Russia considers counterproductive making in the UN security Council [a] resolution on Syria.
Tillerson, in turn, said that the impact of US forces in Idlib was justified, arguing that «the facts that we (the USA — ed.) are available».
However, he acknowledged that Washington has no information that would indicate Russian involvement in the incident in Idlib.
The Fate of al-Assad
Touched the hand, and the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Tillerson expressed confidence that Assad’s departure from office must pass in an orderly manner.
«Our position is that the Assad regime comes to an end, they may blame themselves, their behavior, and a war that continues for several years,» he said.
He noted that «Russia is the closest ally and could help Assad to understand this reality».
«We believe that it is very important that Assad’s departure must occur [in a] structural, organized manner that all communities were represented at the negotiating table,» he added.
Lavrov, in turn, said that Russia has no stakes in Syria by a specific person, including Assad. According to him, the Syrians need to agree about their future themselves.
«It must be an inclusive inter-Syrian dialogue. And destiny of Syria should, as recorded in the resolutions of the UN security Council, to define [by] the Syrians themselves without any exceptions», — concluded the Minister.
Thus, according to the Minister, Russia has sustained the suspicion that the United States protect terrorist groups «dzhebhat an-Nusra» in Syria to try to overthrow Assad by force.
«Even after this (the appearance of the Russian VKS — ed.), American coalition under President (Barack) Obama struck only for some items, LIH. «Dzhebhat an-Nusra» are always spared», — Lavrov reminded.
The low level of trust
Tillerson called «low» current level of trust between Russia and the United States. Thus, according to him, Moscow and Washington should do everything possible to halt the degradation of relations and to restore confidence.
«We agreed to establish a working group to resolve those issues that require immediate action to stabilize the situation,» said U.S. Secretary of state.
According to him, «the two major nuclear powers can’t be in this state of Affairs.»
«We also talked about approaches on how we can improve our lines of communication,» he added. He noted that «the parties shared their positions on how we can move forward today.»
«We understand that the improvement of relations between our countries will need to resolve those questions on which our opinion is divided,» said Tillerson -- Ukraine, Korea and cybersecurity.
«Russia and the United States discussed how to find ways to get out of the spiral of confrontation on the Korean Peninsula and to create conditions for the resumption of negotiations,» — said Lavrov.
The parties also briefly touched on cybersecurity issues, having agreed to continue the dialogue on this topic.
«Who saw them, I don’t know, we have no one showed, no one said anything, even though we repeatedly asked to produce the data underlying these allegations,» — concluded the Russian foreign Minister.
(Additions by SON are all in square brackets, for some clarification.)
Source: Russia News Today