Kerry, Lavrov discuss cooperation in Syria


Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov discussed the prospects of bilateral cooperation in Syria during a telephone call Thursday, according to the State Department.

“They did talk about Syria, and the work that our two teams are doing in Geneva this week to try to work out some of the technicalities on these proposals for a better cessation of hostilities,” agency spokesman John Kirby said.

The two leaders also discussed “opposition groups or opposition fighters that co-locate themselves for whatever reason with groups like Al-Nusra and Daesh,” he said.

The U.S. and Russia are negotiating an agreement to coordinate military operations in Syria against groups like Daesh and al-Nusra, which has rebranded itself Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham, or the Front for the Conquest of the Levant, after recently breaking from al-Qaeda.

Kerry and Lavrov last met last Friday to discuss the remaining “technical issues” needed to be worked out before any coordinated operations could begin.

The spokesman reiterated the long term U.S. strategy in Syria as “a whole, unified, pluralistic Syria that has in place a government that represents the voices of all Syrians”.

Responding to a question about the PKK’s affiliate PYD and YPG’s aspirations for an autonomy in the war-torn country, Kirby said it should be up to all Syrians if they want a federal state.

“What we’ve said, the large umbrella of what we want is a whole, unified, pluralistic Syria,” he added.

Source: Anadolu

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