Syrian strikes ‘came at the most inappropriate moment’ – Shoigu to de Mistura

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MOSCOW, Russia – “The strikes that were conducted in Syria came at the most inappropriate moment, when the situation in Syria was clearly beginning to settle down,” Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said during a meeting with United Nations Special Envoy to Syria Stefano de Mistura in Moscow, Friday.

“This has not brought any stability or things that now could have been a guarantee and serious motivation for getting on with the Syrian peace process,” he said, adding “I think that today we will be able to discuss our main steps in returning to the Sochi and Astana formats.”

De Mistura described the situation in Syria as “potentially dangerous,” but hoped that today’s meeting would provide an opportunity for both military and political “de-conflicting.” “I am looking forward to understanding what are your own ideas on how to build on both Astana and Sochi, in order to make sure that Geneva political process will move forward,” de Mistura concluded.

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“I would like to note that the strikes that were conducted in Syria came at the most inappropriate moment, when the situation in Syria was clearly beginning to settle down, when we were within two days of accomplishing the operation in Eastern Ghouta, and we did accomplish it two days after these strikes occurred. But nevertheless all this has not brought any stability or things that now could have been a guarantee and serious motivation for getting on with the Syrian peace process,” Sergei Shoigu said.

“I think that today we will be able to discuss our main steps in returning to the Sochi and Astana formats, obviously, considering that this work will come to a culmination in Geneva, as we planned and as it was decided during the Syrian National Dialogue Congress,” Sergei Shoigu said.

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