Aggressive US Steps in Syria Hamper Peaceful Solutions Efforts: Lavrov

MOSCOW- US missile strike on a military base in Syria has hindered the efforts to reach a political settlement, and possibly, this has been done on purpose, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with his Senegalese counterpart Mankeur Ndiaye on Monday, Itar Tass reported.

The sides discussed the growing terrorist threat on the African continent and in the world in general, Lavrov said. "We again stated the need to consolidate efforts of the entire international community in the fight against this universal evil, as Russian President Vladimir Putin said some 18 months ago addressing the UN General Assembly," he said.

 Lavrov stressed that all steps here should be conducted on the basis of the international law and the United Nations Charter.

"In this context, we discussed the illegal and aggressive steps of US aviation when the strikes on an airbase in Syria were carried out, which only exacerbated the situation and hindered, maybe on purpose, the search for political settlement," Lavrov said.

New Round of talks in Geneva

The Russian minister went on to say that the pace of organizing a new round of negotiations in Geneva on Syrian settlement should not be lost,.

"As for the upcoming meeting on Syria in Geneva, it is planned for a period after May 3-4, that is, after a new round of talks in Astana," Lavrov said.

"We hope that UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura will find an appropriate date because some hints have started to emerge that the holy month of Ramadan is beginning in late May" and perhaps it should be appropriate to wait until it is over, the Russian foreign minister said.

"We are convinced that the pace should not be lost," Russia’s top diplomat said.

"Especially in the situation when this political process has become endangered," he added.