Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, held a meeting with Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi, on Wednesday, in the Russian capital Moscow, during which they discussed the Syrian file.
In a joint press conference, Ashkenazi said that his country will not allow Iran to use Syrian land to launch attacks against Israel, adding that “Iranian activities must be stopped to ensure continued stability in the region.”
Ashkenazi added, “we will do everything in our power to protect our national security, and we will cooperate with Russia and other countries to find a solution to the Iranian issue.”
Lavrov touched on the political settlement in Syria, explaining that his country has every reason to believe that the sixth round of meetings of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva “will make progress at the level of the political settlement.”
He added that the sixth round will be held in Geneva in late March or early April, before the beginning of Ramadan.
He continued, “we are making active efforts, with our partners in the Astana process, to ensure that the sixth round of the Syrian Constitutional Committee is productive,” adding that “there is every reason to believe that progress will be made, and the Constitutional Council will be able to put the main delegations in direct contact with each other.”
Russia open to solutions
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasized that his country is ready to search for a solution to the Syrian issue, referring to the UN envoy for Syria’s proposal to involve other international bodies in the Constitutional Committee — such as the United States and the European Union.
He added that such a plan would have to fall within the boundaries of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, calling on Pedersen to present his proposal as theoretical for the time being.
Pedersen had proposed the inclusion of other parties in the Constitutional Committee, headed by the Astana trio (Russia – Turkey – Iran), and to combine it with the members of the Small Group on Syria (U.S., UK, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan).
Lavrov’s meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi came a day after Israel’s bombing of Damascus, yesterday, targeting two ammunition depots belonging to Iran near the Damascus International Airport. That was the seventh strike directed by Israel against the regime and Iran in Syria, since the beginning of the year.
The meeting also came after a phone call between Lavrov and the regime’s Foreign Minister, Faisal Mekdad, on Tuesday, during which they discussed preparing for the sixth round of the Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva, where the Russian side stressed the need for diligent work to coordinate constitutional reform, according to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.