Lavrov to Discuss with Pederson Syrian-Related Issues
UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen held in Moscow on Thursday a round of talks with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on the situation in Syria’s Idlib province and humanitarian issues.
Although the talks were held behind closed doors, the Russian defense ministry released parts of the remarks made by the two officials at the start of the meeting.
The ministry said Pedersen praised Moscow’s role in solving the Syrian crisis.
“As far as I see, we have common challenges in Syria. I am pleased to cooperate with the Russian government. I think your team has done a lot and without Russia it would have been impossible to come to an agreement,” he said.
“In order to achieve stability, we need a political process that could begin to eradicate the problems that exist in society. I think this is what we should discuss together to achieve stability in Syria,” he added.
Earlier, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Sputnik that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet with Pedersen on Friday to discuss the Syrian peace process.
She said that among the topics of discussion are the situation on the ground, distribution of humanitarian aid, facilitation of the return of refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as the issue of setting up the stable work of the Syrian Constitutional Committee.
Pedersen’s office said that following his trip to Moscow, the UN envoy plans to travel to Damascus where he would hold talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem before briefing members of the UN Security Council.
Ria Novosti news agency said Pedersen will visit Damascus on Tuesday and will leave on Jan. 30.
The UN envoy has previously told the news agency that he expects to convene a new meeting of the constitutional Committee in February or March.