Kerry, Lavrov discuss de-confliction in Syria

Washington, Oct 9 (IANS) US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov discussed de-confliction of the two countries’ operations against Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

Kerry and Lavrov, over a phone call on Thursday, “talked about the importance of moving forward towards on tactical discussions and dialogue towards the goal of de-confliction, again to avoid mishaps and misunderstandings, particularly in the air,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said at a press briefing.

However, there were “no tactical-level decisions” made during the 30 minute phone call, Kirby added.

Talking about whether the Washington-Moscow talks on Syria will move forward, Kirby said that “I don’t think we’re at the point where there are hard and fast modalities as to what the process will look like.”

“The secretary repeated our concerns about the preponderance of targets that are being struck by Russian military forces that are not IS-related,” Kirby said.

Skeptical about Russia’s intention in Syria, Kerry said last week that “we would have grave concerns should Russia strike areas where IS and Al Qaeda-affiliated targets are not operating.”

Russia insisted that its military operations in Syria only targeted terrorists.

The two also talked on Ukraine issues during the phone talks, Xinhua reported.

Kerry “again raised the Minsk agreement and the importance of moving forward on full implementation of the Minsk agreement”, Kirby said.

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