The Syrian government has taken back control over large swathes of the border with Iraq and Turkey, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during his meeting with UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen.
"The situation on the ground is improving. The territory controlled by the terrorists continues to shrink. The Syrian government has restored control over large portions of the border with Iraq and Turkey," Lavrov noted.
Moscow does not overdramatize the absence of considerable progress in the activities of Syria’s Constitutional Committee, because there have been no such plans from the outset, Sergey Lavrov stated in his opening remarks at the meeting with Geir Pedersen, TASS reports.
"Just like you, we do not dramatize the fact that some couple of months since the establishment of the Constitutional Committee no big results have been achieved," Lavrov noted. "There’s never been such anticipation. This situation is natural."
"We will do our utmost to promote efforts to create the necessary conditions for progress at the forthcoming meeting of the editorial commission, whenever you find it appropriate to call its meeting," Lavrov added.
Syria’s Constitutional Committee met for its first session in Geneva on October 30, but at the next meeting in November its co-chairpersons from the government and the opposition were unable to agree on an agenda. No date for the next meeting has been set yet.
Task force in Geneva
The International Syria Support Group's (ISSG) Humanitarian Task Force must discuss the issue of double standards of the West regarding humanitarian aid to Syria, the Russian foreign minister believes.
"In the context of recovering Syrian statehood, in the context of establishing conditions for the return of refugees to the territories under control of the legitimate government, it is necessary to mobilize international delivery of humanitarian aid, first and foremost, with the coordinating role of the UN," the Russian top diplomat commented.
"Here, we see an obvious bias and double standards from the side of certain Western donors, when key Western capitals do not want to send aid to the territories under the control of the government, dispatching it instead to the territories controlled by the opposition, at times very radical opposition," Lavrov said. He added that the Humanitarian Task Force active in Geneva must deal with the situation.
The Russian top diplomat noted that the remaining terrorist threat negatively tells on the Syrian regulation process. "Terrorists are obstructing deliveries of humanitarian aid, taking what was sent to the corresponding areas of Syria in their possession. This issue requires special consideration, namely in Geneva, where the humanitarian task force is active," Lavrov claimed.