Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he was optimistic about progress during the current round of the inter-Syrian dialogue in Geneva.
Earlier on Monday, the seventh round of the talks started in Geneva with a meeting between the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic, headed by Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari, and United Nations Special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.
Lavrov was speaking at a press conference with his counterpart from South Ossetia.
He said that the Geneva talks were witnessing greater movement compared to the past rounds, particularly the four baskets agenda, pointing out that de Mistura was currently holding consultations regarding the constitutional issues.
“We will actively support de Mistura’s efforts to encourage the Syrian parties to hold a productive, constructive conversation about what constitutional reforms could be agreed upon,” Lavrov said.
He considered that the technical consultations between representatives of the Cairo, Moscow and Riyadh platforms is a qualitative shift and indicate a change in the behavior of the Riyadh opposition delegation, which was trying to monopolize the opposition in the past.
Lavrov noted that the establishment of de-escalation zones will contribute to combating terrorism through separating the terrorists from the “opposition” and then forming a basis for the participation of the forces in those areas with the Syrian state in the fight against terrorism, adding that Russia will continue supporting the Syrians in their joint fight against terrorism, through the presence of its air force.
Lavrov also said that Russia and the United States will continue cooperating on the enforcement of a de-escalation zone agreement in southwestern Syria.
“We are close to reaching a final agreement on Homs and the Eastern Ghouta zones, while talks continue on the northern zone, which is planned to be set up in the Idlib area,” Lavrov added.
The Russian foreign minister welcomed the United States’ more active participation in the two previous meetings in Astana.
“By and large, the doors for our cooperation on the further development of the de-escalation zones concept are open,” Lavrov said.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.