Kremlin hopes 'political wisdom' prevails in Syria cooperation with US

AFP , Tuesday 4 Oct 2016

Moscow said Tuesday it hopes "political wisdom" will prevail in Washington regarding cooperation in Syria after the United States dropped ceasefire talks with Russia over its support of the regime in Damascus.

"We would like to hope for the presence of political wisdom and the continuation of exchanges on particularly sensitive issues that are necessary for maintaining peace and security," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"As far as we understand, exchanges between our militaries are ongoing and will continue."

The United States said Monday it was suspending negotiations with Russia to revive a failed ceasefire and set up a joint centre to coordinate the fight against Islamist militants, saying Moscow had "failed to live up to its own commitments" and stepped up its military operations instead.

US State Department spokesman John Kirby said the Russian and US militaries will continue to use a communications channel set up to ensure their forces do not get in each others' way during "counterterrorism operations in Syria."

Peskov said Tuesday that the Washington's suspension of the talks did not mean "Russia will renounce its plans to assist Syria's armed forces in the fight against terrorism".

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that Washington is still seeking peace in Syria despite having suspended negotiations with Moscow.

He accused Russia of turning a "blind eye" to the use of weapons by President Bashar al-Assad's forces including chlorine gas against rebels and civilians in Syria.

Russia's foreign ministry said Monday that it regretted Washington's decision to suspend the talks, accusing the United States of shifting responsibility for its failure onto Moscow.

Russia has been conducting a bombing campaign in Syria for the past year and is currently backing up a fierce regime assault on rebel-held eastern Aleppo, sparking international condemnation.

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