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An answer of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to a media question at a joint news conference following talks with President of the Republic of Abkhazia Raul Khadjimba, Sukhum, April 19, 2017

Question: What do you think about the prospects for cooperation with the US on Syria following the visit to Moscow by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson? Did you actually discuss the US proposals related to settlement stages, which reportedly mention Bashar al-Assad’s resignation? To what extent do these proposals suite you?

Sergey Lavrov: Kremlin spokespersons have already commented on the reports that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson came to Russia with some kind of a phased settlement plan for Syria. Of course, we discussed Syria. We believe that UN Security Council Resolution 2254 sets out a plan covering all the aspects of a peaceful settlement based on the principle whereby the Syrian people should be the ones to determine the future of their country. This is the framework we abide by.

We have been seeing lately attempts to stage provocations, like the one that was orchestrated on April 4 in Idlib province with toxic agents. It was followed by a US strike against a Syrian airbase. This prompted calls for overthrowing the regime. There are perhaps those who do not like the UN Security Council Resolution, and the principle of respecting the sovereignty of Syria and the Syrian people, which has the right to decide on its future and that of the country. These forces are trying to create some artificial provocative pretexts for pursuing regime change instead of a settlement.

The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and I had a detailed discussion on the situation in Syria. I am confident that there is no alternative to implementing the UN Security Council Resolution 2254 in good faith.

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