Russian FM says Moscow opts for Turkey over US for dialogue on Syria
MOSCOWRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said cooperation with Turkey over Syria would be “more fruitful” than cooperation with the United States.
“We are in dialogue with regional countries, particularly with Turkey. Dialogue with Ankara would be more successful than inconclusive sessions [we have had] with the U.S.,” Lavrov said, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.
He complained that the U.S. “rolls back” on what has been agreed every time a deal is reached.
Lavrov discussed developments in Syria, especially the situation in Aleppo, in a late Dec. 13 phone call with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, according to a Turkish diplomatic source.
During the conversation, Çavuşoğlu reportedly stressed the need to evacuate civilians from Aleppo.
Lavrov also said on Dec. 14 that the situation in eastern Aleppo would be resolved in the next two or three days.
“We think the resistance of armed groups will end in two to three days,” he said, also claiming that Russia had established a number of humanitarian corridors for civilians to “safely” leave the Syrian city.
Moscow and Ankara reached a deal on securing a cease-fire and evacuation of civilians and rebels from Aleppo on Dec. 13, but it could not be realized on Dec. 14, as Syrian forces struck the last rebel-held part of Aleppo.
On Dec. 14, Çavuşoğlu also talked to U.S. Foreign Minister John Kerry, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, Andrei Kelin, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s European Cooperation Department, also told Russian news agency Ria Novosti that Moscow will continue to cooperate with Ankara on Syria.
“For us it has been much more straightforward to reach agreements with Turkey than it has been with the Americans,” Kelin said.