Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s answer to a media question regarding statements by a US State Department senior official on the Syrian issue

Tuesday, 21 August 2018 10:54

Question: In one of his public statements on the progress in convening the intra-Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield is reported to have said that he doubts that Russia is ready to perform its obligations to assist in this critical step towards the political process (in Syria) that the UN Security Council and the global community in general strongly support. How can you comment on these words by the senior representative of the US Department of State?

Maria Zakharova: Statements of this nature are strange and surprising to us because it was at Russia’s initiative that the Syrian National Dialogue Congress took place last January in Sochi and issued a resolution to form the Constitutional Committee for the work in Geneva. It was Russian representatives who later maintained intensive contacts with official Damascus, the Syrian opposition, partners in the Astana format and the UN for the purpose of practical implementation of this decision. Dynamic progress in this direction was sabotaged as a result of trilateral aggression against Syria led by the United States on April 14, 2018, on a contrived pretext of chemical weapons allegedly used by the Syrian army in Douma, Eastern Ghouta. Even despite this fact, back in May we managed to convince the Syrian government to provide the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura with a list of 50 candidates for the Constitutional Committee. Meanwhile, the opposition guarded by the western countries, including the United States, inexcusably dragged out providing its own list that was given to Staffan de Mistura only recently.

Russia unfailingly and consistently speaks out from constructive positions on the Syrian problem. At the same time, we always observe the interests of the intra-Syrian settlement based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and mutual agreements reached in Astana and Sochi with Russia’s key contribution. We have never had a hidden agenda in Syria. Based on the earlier approved principled international legal foundation, we will continue intensive and multidimensional work in the interests of a speedy resolution of the Syrian crisis. We expect that all influential international partners, including the US, will act accordingly and stop looking at the situation in Syria through the lens of its own geopolitical ideas.

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