Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov affirmed on Monday that his country will not allow undermining the efforts aimed at reaching a political settlement for the crisis in Syria in accordance with the resolution of the UN Security Council.
In a press conference with his Senegalese counterpart on Moscow, Lavrov said that time must not be wasted, especially in circumstances where the political process is under threat by factors such as the US strike on al-Shairat airbase and the seeking of many players, both within Syria and abroad, to exploit this situation to switch the blame fully to the Syrian government by starting to move away from the political settlement towards changing the Syrian government, describing these attempts as a dangerous trend.
About the meeting that will be held in Geneva between representatives from Russia, the United States, and the United Nations, Lavrov said that it is planned for a period after May 3-4, after a new round of talks in Astana.
Regarding the Geneva dialogue, 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.”
On the US aggression on Syria and the alleged use of chemical weapons, Lavrov reiterated that Moscow insists on conducting an impartial, objective, and transparent investigation through an additional committee of experts under the auspices of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), pointing out that the current mission sent by the organization is headed by experts from Britain alone which contradicts the principles of the OPCW that emphasize balance between the members.
In the same context, Russian President’s Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that de Mistura and his deputy Ramzi Ramzi, along with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov and the Director of the Middle East and North Africa Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry Sergey Vershinin will participate in the upcoming tripartite meeting on Syria in Geneva, while the representatives of the United States are still unknown.