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Russian FM says Riyadh ‘serious’ about solving Syria crisis

RUSSIAN FM SAYS RIYADH ‘SERIOUS’ ABOUT SOLVING SYRIA CRISIS

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday said Saudi Arabia was "serious" about resolving the conflict in Syria, which is now in its seventh year.

Lavrov made the remarks at a joint press conference held with Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi in Jordanian capital Amman.

"Saudi Arabia is serious about the need to resolve the Syria crisis and has confirmed its support for the negotiation process in Astana," he said.

Over the course of the last year, Kazakh capital Astana has hosted five separate rounds of Syria peace talks, with a sixth round of talks slated for later this month.

"We [Russia] share a number of common positions with Jordan, including the desire to see an immediate halt to the bloodshed in Syria, an easing of the humanitarian situation [in Syria] and the launch a genuine settlement process within the context of the UN," Lavrov said.

He added: "We have worked with both Turkey and Iran in Astana, within the framework of a trilateral agreement, towards the establishment [in Syria] of more de-escalation zones."

The Russian foreign minister also called for the restoration of everyday life in war-weary Syria based on respect for international law.

"We have had very useful discussions," he added, "which I will continue with Jordan's King Abdullah II."

Safadi, for his part, said at the press conference: "We are close to achieving our interests in regards to the Syria crisis: our borders are secure and the threat of armed militias has dissipated."

"We want to see a cease-fire in Syria before a peaceful solution -- acceptable to the Syrian people -- is reached," he added.

On the issue of Palestine, Safadi warned of the potential dangers of failing to restart Israel-Palestine peace talks, which have remained stalled since 2014.

On Sunday, Lavrov visited Saudi Arabia, where he hailed Kuwaiti efforts to resolve the ongoing crisis in inter-Arab relations and Riyadh's support for the political process in Syria.

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