USA will negotiate with Russia on Syria only ‘if talks are constructive’

The United States is ready to discuss Syrian settlement with Russia only if this dialogue is constructive, a US Department of State spokesman said, commenting on Washington’s recent revoking of Aleppo reconciliation proposals.

“Talks haven’t been canceled,” Mark Toner said, refusing to give any details. “We’re just not at a point yet where we can say that getting together to have these talks would be constructive.”

“We’re still working to finalize the details of those discussions. So there’s nothing to announce yet, but we’re still working at this,” he added.

At a meeting with Lavrov in Rome earlier this month, Kerry suggested holding Russian-US consultations to discuss coordination of dates and routes for the militants’ pullout from eastern Aleppo. The initiative came against the background of the Syrian army’s successes in the struggle against extremists in the city.

Russian and US experts were expected to discuss the initiative in Geneva on December 6 or 7.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday that Washington revoked its proposals.

“Yesterday we received from them [the United States – TASS] a notification that they will be unable to attend the meeting because they have changed their mind. They are revoking their previous document, now they have a new one,” Lavrov said. “According to our first impressions, this document takes everything back to square one and looks like an attempt to gain time to let militants take a break and replenish their reserves.”


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