- Title: Russia's Lavrov says U.S. dragging out talks on Aleppo accord
- Date: 9th December 2016
- Summary: HAMBURG, GERMANY (DECEMBER 9, 2016) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI LAVROV ARRIVING AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: "If American experts do not change their minds again, as they did a few days ago, and do not put something new on the table, then there is a good chance to reach an agreement on how to achieve final reconciliation of the situation in eastern Aleppo by withdrawing all fighters without any exceptions. I repeat, that I cannot be sure there won't be any new surprises because there are too many obscurities in how the American side is behaving with us over Syria talks." MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: "This is yet another strangeness of American policy towards Syria and Aleppo: while the left hand is doing something constructive, the right hand is simultaneously turning on the tap for a flood of weapons into the hands of fighters." MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: "Everyone understands that the fighters are agonising now in eastern Aleppo. I repeat that we do not want to support those who would prefer to finish off these fighters without any talks at any price. We are ready to solve the problem without extra victims and destruction." MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: "There are two explanations as to why the Americans are dragging it out. First - that the State Department is not taking all the decisions by itself and someone in Washington believes such cooperation with us is inappropriate. The second explanation - if a second one is possible - is that the Americans cannot influence those groupings which are now entrenched in eastern Aleppo." LAVROV TALKING
- Embargoed: 24th December 2016 12:09
- Keywords: Sergei Lavrov OSCE Hamburg Syria Middle East
- Location: HAMBURG, GERMANY
- City: HAMBURG, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Reuters ID: LVA0015C5W8JR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday (December 9) accused the United States of dragging out talks on an accord to allow Syrian rebels to safely leave Aleppo and said Washington was taking "strange" and contradictory positions during its talks with Moscow.
Lavrov said there was still a "good chance" of reaching a deal on Aleppo, provided that Washington did not change its mind about participating in a meeting of technical experts on the issue in Geneva on Saturday (December 10).
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Lavrov in Hamburg on Thursday (December 8). After the meeting Kerry said he was not confident but "hopeful" about reaching an agreement, and was still waiting for "certain feedback and input" from Moscow.
The White House said it would adopt a "wait and see" approach on whether Russia helps cease military operations.
The U.N. assessment for a possible deal, which would see civilian evacuations from besieged rebel-held areas of eastern Aleppo and help aid delivery, was bleak.
Russia and the United States were "poles apart" in trying to agree on terms for evacuations from east Aleppo, according to U.N. Syria humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland.
More than 800 people have been killed and 3,000-3,500 wounded in eastern Aleppo in the past 26 days, while the remaining trapped civilians await an effective death sentence, the president of Aleppo local council said.
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