US begins talks with ISSG, partners on Syria

Washington talks to Moscow on sidelines of Syria meetings in Berlin

US begins talks with ISSG, partners on Syria

World Bulletin / News Desk

As part of multilateral meetings in Berlin, the U.S. began talking to the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and other partners to find a solution for Syria, the State Department said Wednesday. 

The meetings come two days after the U.S. ended bilateral cooperation with Moscow that sought a cease-fire in the war-ravaged nation.

U.S. Under Secretary Thomas Shannon was in the German capital Wednesday to meet senior officials from the Quint countries -- France, Germany, Italy, U.K. and the U.S. -- to discuss Syria, the agency said. 

Shannon also spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during the visit to Berlin, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said during a news briefing.   

When asked how diplomats could talk when the U.S. just announced it suspended bilateral ties with Russia, Toner said it would be "irresponsible" for the U.S. not to periodically speak to Lavrov given the ongoing violence in Aleppo. 

"What happened the other day, the suspension, had to do with that particular bilateral cooperation that we thought we had reached a conclusion on Sept. 10 in Geneva. That effort is suspended," he said. "But that does not preclude us from talking."

In the last 24 hours, Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with his counterparts in the U.K., France, Germany, Turkey, the E.U. and Qatar about how to find a solution for Syria, Toner said. 

The ISSG, established last year during Vienna talks to find a solution to the crisis, is co-chaired by the U.S. and Russia. 

The U.S. and Russia agreed in February to a cessation of hostilities in Syria -- to bring the Syrian regime and opposition to the table to find a political solution.

Halting the violence was a precondition of the Syrian opposition to start negotiations. The talks could never begin, however, as the cease-fire could not be achieved totally.

Tensions between Washington and Moscow flared Monday after the U.S. announced it suspended bilateral cooperation.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Ekim 2016, 08:27
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