Kirby says US welcomes Moscow trilateral talks on Syria

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Spokesperson for the US Department of State John Kirby has said that the US welcomes the trilateral talks on Syria that was held in Moscow with participation of the Iranian, Russian and Turkish foreign ministers.The Secretary certainly welcomes any effort to try to get a ceasefire in Syria that can actually have meaningful results, particularly for those people that remain in Aleppo, as well as the resumption of political talks,’ Kirby was quoted by the website of the US Department of State as saying during his Dec 20 press briefing.

Asked if the trilateral talks are regarded as ‘a viable pathway toward the resumption of political talks,’ Kirby said ‘I think it’s too soon to know right now. I mean, that’s obviously what we’d all like to see, that – a meaningful ceasefire expanded – I’m assuming, the way I read that, was geographically larger than just Aleppo. That’s the way I read it.’

‘I just think, given that the meeting just broke up today and given the fact that we have seen repeated promises to appropriately influence the Assad regime in the right way on the cessations of hostilities and seen those fail. I think we all – we just – we really need to await and ascertain the results over the next coming days.’

Responding to say why the US Secretary of State John Kerry had not been invited to the Tuesday trilateral talks on Syria, Kirby said ‘Well, they can speak for who they want involved or not. I mean, we recognize that we weren’t invited, that this was between Russia, Turkey, and Iran. I think the Secretary would be the first to tell you that if not having us in the room can lead to finally a cessation of hostilities that can actually matter over a period of time and over a greater geographical area than what we’ve seen in the past, that can actually get humanitarian aid to people and can resume political talks, the Secretary is perfectly fine with him not being in the room if that’s the result of this.’

‘But it doesn’t mean he’s going to disengage or that the International Syria Support Group goes away or the other multilateral efforts that the United States has been leading are going to stop,’ he added.

‘There have – almost from the outset of this entire process – been many conversations going on at once, and not all of them have we been a party to, even going back a year and a half, two years. So again, if the results announced – if the discussions that they had today in Moscow can lead to real, practical effects, that’s all to the good. That’s for the betterment of the Syrian people and regional stability, and we would welcome that.’

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