Moscow, Sep 30 (IANS) Russia and the US agreed to continue cooperation in spite of differences in settling Syrian crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.
“(Monday’s meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Barack Obama) was a very constructive discussion,” Xinhua news agency quoted Lavrov as saying on Tuesday.
The two leaders met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The 100-minute meeting was mainly dedicated to anti-terrorism task in the Middle East, in particular Syria.
“We did not agree on any specific steps, but on continuing our cooperation and discussions between ministries of foreign affairs and of defence in order to identify specific ways and means to achieve our common goals,” an online statement released by the ministry quoted Lavrov as saying.
“We all agreed that our common goal is to defeat Islamic State (IS), not to allow IS to establish the ‘caliphate’, which they are planning to expand further to huge territories … Both Russia and the United States absolutely determined not to allow them to succeed.”
The minister urged that different forces should be coordinated in the anti-terror fight in “pragmatic, reasonable and rational” way.
Noting that the US-led coalition against IS should also cooperate with the Syrian government and be conducted with the consent of UN, Lavrov said the anti-terror fight should also involve ground forces rather than only relying on air strikes.
“We offered the US and the coalition to coordinate the actual action on the ground as well as from the air,” Lavrov said, adding that the recently-proposed anti-terrorism information center should be properly used by all parties.
Putin on Monday announced at the UNGA session that the centre would be jointly established in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad by Russia, Syria, Iran and Iraq.