Obama Hopes Military Talks with Russia on Syria Will Start Very SoonWorld | September 18, 2015, Friday // 19:52| views
US Secretary of State John Kerry steps off his plane after arriving at London' Stansted Airport for meetings on the ongoing Syrian crisis, on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015. Photo by AP/BTA
Russia said on Friday that it is open for dialogue with the United States on all issues of mutual concern, including the crisis in Syria.
"We have never avoided dialogue with the United States, and remain open for discussion of all issues of mutual interest, including Syria," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told RIA Novosti.
Zakharova spoke shortly after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that President Barack Obama believes that holding military talks with Russia on Syria is an important next step and hopes they will take place very shortly.
Obama hopes that talks would "help define some of the different options available to us as we consider next steps in Syria," Kerry said at a meeting in London with United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed, according to Reuters.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier this week that Moscow is providing military aid to Syria because it believes the Syrian Army to be the only credible force capable of confronting the Islamic State group in the country. Russia’s military build-up in Syria has raised concerns in Washington.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter spoke on Friday with Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu over the phone on areas where "perspectives overlap and areas of divergence", the Pentagon announced.
It was Carter’s first discussion with his Russian counterpart since he became defense secretary seven months ago. Carter and Shoigu agreed to continue discussions on “mechanisms for deconfliction” in Syria, Peter Cook, the Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement.
In military terms, "deconfliction" means rival armies will talk to one another to avoid accidental encounters between their forces, AFP said.
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