Putin, Kerry Vow to Cooperate in Solving Conflicts in Syria, Ukraine

World | December 16, 2015, Wednesday // 12:02|  views

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) talks to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, 15 December 2015. Photo: EPA

Solving the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine were the main topics of discussion during the three-hour meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US State Secretary John Kerry in Moscow on Tuesday.

Prior to meeting Putin, Kerry held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, TASS news agency informs.

Although no breakthroughs were achieved in bilateral relations, the two countries brought closer their positions on the settlement of the conflicts as well as the fight against terrorism.

Kerry assured that the US is not seeking to isolate Russia and wanted to cooperate with Moscow in the fight against terrorism and in solving jointly the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.

In his words, the current cooperation between the leaders of the two countries was "a sign of maturity".

Putin noted the efforts made by Kerry in settling a number of very acute problems.

The US State Secretary expressed gratitude to Putin for his hospitality and to Lavrov and his team for their efforts on improving cooperation with the US.

Lavrov stated that all sides should make their contribution both in the fight against terrorism and in promoting the political process in Syria.

The Russian foreign minister expressed preference for the collective format, which was established in Vienna and involves all key players.

Lavrov added that Russia and the US had confirmed the agreements on settlement in Syria, which had been reached as part of the Vienna talks.

The Russian foreign minister noted that Syria's opposition delegation should be representative and should have readiness to negotiate constructively with the delegation of the Syrian government.

Kerry stated that Moscow and Washington can do a lot together to resolve the Syrian crisis, pointing to the Vienna talks as a good beginning.

He reiterated that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should leave, but said that the sides should mainly focus on the political process rather than on the fate of Assad.

The two sides agreed that cooperation is necessary to improve the counter-terrorist efforts, with the two countries being close to compiling a single list of terrorist organisations.

The two countries also reaffirmed their support for the Minsk agreements on Ukraine and the high-level talks taking place in the so-called Normandy format.

Russia and the US vowed to achieve full implementation of the Minsk accords.

Kerry noted that the sanctions against Russia will be lifted as soon as the Minsk agreements are implemented.

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Tags: Russia, US, Vladimir Putin, John Kerry, Sergey Lavrov, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, sanctions, Minsk agreement, Minsk Accords, Normandy format, Bashar Al-Assad


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