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Russia slams moves to undermine Syrian sovereignty

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova

Russia on Thursday slammed US attempts to use the “Kurdish factor” in Syria to undermine the sovereignty of the Syrian government, Anadolu Agency reports.

Speaking at a news conference in Moscow, Maria Zakharova said US efforts to create a Kurdish quasi-state on the eastern bank of the Euphrates were “unacceptable”.

“Our approach to the creation of a quasi-state on the eastern bank of the Euphrates is unchanged, it was announced in detail by Russian Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. Syria is a sovereign state, any territorial experiments, especially attempts to tear it apart are unacceptable,” she said.

On Wednesday, Sergey Lavrov called on the West to avoid double standards in fighting terrorism in Syria.

“The Kurds are simply being used to promote the line in undermining the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, to drive a wedge between the Kurds and the Arab tribes that have lived in these territories for centuries,” Lavrov said.

READ: Russia urges West against ‘double standards’ in Syria

Zakharova said Moscow did not see any progress in the US’s planned withdrawal from Syria.

“There is no clear, official position, with specific terms and quantitative parameters and other important nuances [regarding US troop withdrawal]. Therefore, we cannot talk about progress,” she said

Zakharova added that Lavrov would discuss Syria in detail with UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen at a meeting in Moscow on Friday.

The talks will focus on counter-terrorism, humanitarian issues and creating appropriate conditions for the return of Syrian refugees, she said.

Moscow also expects the talks to clarify the path towards establishing a Syrian constitutional committee, Zakharova said.

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