Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that the Kremlin agreed with the United States on the objectives of the settlement in Syria. He said so after holding a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
"Our president said while addressing the UN General Assembly that we will actively contribute to launching the political process on the Syrian settlement to create the conditions for the Syrians to agree on how they should live in their country, on the way they want to see their country, to agree that the rights of all ethnic groups and religious denominations are guaranteed, to make them feel involved, to be represented in the government bodies at the central and local levels and thus to put an end to the fratricidal conflict," Russia's Tass news agency quoted Lavrov as saying.
The Russian minister said the majority of people in Syria had the same vision “enshrined in the Geneva Communique.” However, he said that there were some disagreements about the ways of proceeding toward the goal.
Lavrov said Kerry’s speech at the UNGA meant Russia’s cooperation to fight against Islamic State militants was welcome. He proposed to agree on how to avoid “unintentional incidents.”
Kerry has expressed “grave concerns” about Russia’s airstrikes on locations where extremist forces are not operating. According to him, such strikes question Russia’s real intentions, fighting ISIS militants or protecting the Assad regime. Kerry stressed supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad should not be confused with fighting ISIS extremists in Syria, the CNN reported.
Lavrov said there was no information about civilians having suffered during Russian airstrikes though there were such allegations. "We are closely monitoring the situation to make sure that the strikes are surgical, that the targets are only the positions, facilities, equipment and armament of terrorist groups," he added.