Kerry: Moscow proposed ‘military-to-military’ talks on Syria

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US Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that Russia has proposed holding “military-to-military” talks on Syria, amid US concern about Moscow’s continued build-up of equipment in the war-ravaged nation.

Kerry: Moscow proposed ‘military-to-military’ talks on Syria

Moscow proposed ‘military-to-military’ talks with US on Syria: Kerry

Washington (United States)

– 16 September 2015 14:02

– AFP

– LEAD

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that Russia has proposed holding “military-to-military” talks on Syria, amid US concern about Moscow’s continued build-up of equipment in the war-ravaged nation.

A day after a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Kerry also stressed that Moscow’s military support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could spark an escalation of the conflict.

“The Russians proposed… that we have a military-to-military conversation and meeting in order to discuss the issue of precisely what would be done,” Kerry told reporters.

He also said the talks could serve to “deconflict with respect to any potential risks that might be run and have a complete and clear understanding as to the road ahead and what the intentions are.”

Kerry did not indicate whether the talks covered the US-led fight against Islamic State jihadists, who hold a wide swath of territory in Syria and Iraq.

Washington and Moscow have increased diplomatic consultations in recent weeks amid efforts to end the bloody four-year war, which has claimed more than 240,000 lives and triggered a massive exodus of refugees.

“I made clear that Russia’s continued support for Assad risks escalating the conflict and undermining our shared goal of fighting extremism,” Kerry said.

The top US diplomat, relating the details of his third telephone call with Lavrov in a week, said he had urged Moscow to play a “constructive role” in the search for a political solution in Syria and the fight against the Islamic State group.

The Kremlin — one of Assad’s few remaining allies — has been on a diplomatic drive to get the international anti-IS coalition to coordinate with the regime in Damascus.

But the push has made no headway so far as Western and regional powers in the coalition have ruled out linking up forces with Assad.

Tags : Syria, talks, Militarytomilitary, proposed, Moscow, kerry

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