Roma, SANA-Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov affirmed that all the armed groups in Aleppo are controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group, adding that announcing of the so called “Aleppo Army” is an attempt to present the terrorist organization under a new name and to bring it out of the international sanctions imposed on it.
In a joint press conference with his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni in Roma, Lavrov said: “We agreed that there is no military solution to the crisis in Syria, and this was Russia’s position within the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) which not all of its members ware ready to declare the common position on the absence of a military solution.”
He stressed on the need to abide strictly by the provisions of humanitarian law when dealing with the situation in Aleppo, calling for the implementation of UN resolutions on Syria, which stipulates for complying with the separation of the so called “moderate opposition” from terrorist organizations and to start a political process to find a solution to the crisis without preconditions.
About delivering humanitarian aid to Aleppo, Lavrov said that there is no threat in using al-Castello road to deliver aid after the Syrian army restored a considerable part of eastern Aleppo as the terrorist organizations are no more able to attack humanitarian convoys that travel along that road.
“The UN is still thinking how to do that while Russia has sent additional humanitarian aid as well as two mobile hospitals, medical equipment and medicine to Aleppo,” Lavrov noted, adding that “if other countries want to assist civilians in Aleppo, then they should do the same.”
“The UN Security Council Resolution 2254 stipulates that talks on the political settlement in Syria are launched without preconditions,” the Russian top diplomat noted, adding “But there are those who demand President Bashar al-Assad to be removed and this is unacceptable.”
“Because of the failure of the UN representatives, Russia encourages all efforts that allow the creation of conditions for the beginning of a negotiation process based on the need to ensure the interests of the Syrian people,” he added.
“As for humanitarian organisations’ data on the number of civilian deaths in Aleppo, we always pay attention to such reports and also assess them because most reports sparking outrage over the situation in the city are based on the information provided by the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights which is a one-man organisation based somewhere in London in a two-bedroom apartment. Everyone knows it but nevertheless continues to cite the Observatory as a credible source of information,” the minister said, adding that the information provided by this organisation require double checking.
The Russian Minister pointed out that Russia still supports the proposal by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura on the withdrawal of militants from Eastern Aleppo.
“The idea was blocked by those who, we are convinced, are interested in Eastern Aleppo remaining under the control of terrorists. We are still ready for what de Mistura said,” he said.
For his part, Gentiloni affirmed that there is no military solution for the crisis in Syria, stressing the necessity to exert all efforts to deliver aid to Aleppo.
He also said that everyone should support de Mistura’s proposal on getting militants out of Aleppo.