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Russia accuses US of seeking to undermine Sochi Conference

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (L) during their meeting in Sochi, Russia on 21 November 2017 [Kremlin Press Office/ Anadolu Agency]
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (L) during their meeting in Sochi, Russia on 21 November 2017 [Kremlin Press Office/ Anadolu Agency]

A spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry has accused the US of seeking to undermine the Sochi Conference about Syria scheduled for the end of January, Quds Press reported on Friday. Maria Zakharova said that remarks by some American officials about the conference have negative effects on Syrian opposition groups.

“The US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near East affairs, David Satterfield, announced on Thursday that the US is planning to take action at the UN regarding Syria, counter to national congress dialogue,” she explained. “We have said several times that Geneva, Astana and Sochi are connected to each other and all are components of the reconciliation process.

“One might think that Russia would give up its principal stance in support of a Syrian political reconciliation based on UN Security Council resolution 2254 and the efforts to prepare for the Syrian national congress dialogue at the end of January. If someone thinks so – and we know his name is David Satterfield – we say that these illusions will not succeed.”

Satterfield said on Thursday that there would be no military victory in Syria without achieving a political transition in the war-torn country.

Read: US calls on Assad regime to dismantle chemical weapons programme

Zakharova used the example of the US-backed escalation of hostilities by Al-Nusra Front since the start of January to ask, “Where did the terrorists get these completely new means of warfare and why are these appearing now when it is clear to everyone that Syrian political stabilisation trends are strengthening?”

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