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Lavrov, Kerry confirm plans to hold meeting on Syria in Munich on February 11

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his US counterpart John Kerry in a phone conversation on Thursday confirmed plans to hold a meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in Munich on February 11, Russia's Foreign Ministry has said.

"The agreement was also confirmed on holding another ministerial meeting of the International Syria Support Group in Munich on February 11," the ministry said. The sides will consider "all the aspects of the Syrian settlement in line with the UN Security Council resolution 2254."

Lavrov and Kerry also agreed to take steps to minimize the pause in the intra-Syrian talks. The talks in Switzerland's Geneva were suspended on Wednesday until February 25, UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said.

"While expressing common regret over the fact that the UN-brokered intra-Syrian dialogue has been temporarily suspended, Lavrov and Kerry agreed to make necessary efforts to ensure that this pause is as short as possible," the ministry said.

The Russian side has voiced concerns as some representatives of the Syrian opposition set unacceptable preconditions to establish sustained negotiations with the government of Syria.

Moscow also called on the United States and its allies to remain committed to the provisions of the UN Security Council resolution 2254 adopted on December 18 that endorsed a road map for peace process in Syria.

Lavrov and Kerry "stated the need for urgent steps both of the Syrian government and the opposition in order to ensure humanitarian access under the UN auspices to the areas of the country blocked both by the government forces and the armed opposition units," the ministry said.

The Russian and US top diplomats agreed on "possible coordinated actions on delivering humanitarian aid to the certain areas of Syria by air with the use of means of military-transport aviation," it said.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 04Feb16]

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