Russia, US to Continue Cooperation on Syria — Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW- Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman have reaffirmed resolve to continue cooperation on the Syrian settlement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, adding that the meeting was initiated by the US side, Itar Tass reported.

"The conversation focused on the situation in Syria with an emphasis on prospects for the intra-Syrian negotiations," the ministry said. It said the diplomats reaffirmed resolve "to continue cooperation with an aim to ensure de-escalation of tension in Syria".

 Bogdanov, who is also Russian president’s special representative for the Middle East and African Affairs, emphasized that the political settlement of the conflict in Syria on the basis of Resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council had no alternative, the ministry said.

The Russian side also "noted the importance of the Astana process, including in terms of contribution to establishing a stable inclusive negotiation process in Geneva under the UN aegis".

Earlier on Wednesday, the US ambassador met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov to discuss Moscow-Washington interaction at the United Nations for achieving settlements of conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and the North Korean peninsula. The meeting was requested by the US side, the Foreign Ministry said.

"Among the issues discussed were Russia-US interaction at the United Nations with an emphasis on the need for resistance to terrorism and a political settlement of acute conflicts, including those in Syria, in the East of Ukraine and on the Korean Peninsula," the Foreign Ministry said.

The Syrian and North Korean issues will be considered by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump at a meeting on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Vietnam. As Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told the media earlier, Putin and Trump would discuss the main international problems from Syria to North Korea and also bilateral relations.

H.M