Russian diplomat, Syrian opposition discuss Syrian National Dialogue preparations

Syria militants in US seeking CIA dollars to ‘confront Iran’s influence

Russian diplomat, Syrian opposition discuss Syrian National Dialogue preparations

Another delegation member who requested anonymity told Reuters they told officials USA inaction in Syria would only allow Iran and its regional allies to recreate a land corridor linking Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut - often termed the "Shiite crescent" by Iran's regional enemies.

A USA withdrawal, he said, would likely have disastrous consequences.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the US still wants Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime out of power - but warned that change might not happen for a while.

They also discussed issues related to alleviating the humanitarian problems of the civilian population in Syria and compliance with the ceasefire in the de-escalation zones in accordance with the agreements reached in Astana, the ministry said. As president, however, Trump has had to commit to an open-ended presence in Afghanistan and, now, Syria.

Çavuşoğlu and Lavrov exchanged views on the developments in Syria, an upcoming conference on the war-torn country in Russia's coastal city of Sochi and also cease-fire violations by the Assad regime, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.

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"That can not be in the interests of the region or, frankly, in the interests of the wider world, because one of the lessons of the last seven years in Syria is that nothing that is born in Syria stays in Syria, and the instability is exported beyond its borders, not confined within them". "But on the other hand I've actually concluded that's not a bad system because it goes out and I don't know it's going to go out, so there's not a whole lot I'm going to do until it's out there", Tillerson said at an event at Stanford University, speaking with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

However, he said, more clarity was needed on how Washington will force the implementation of the political process and how it "will force the Assad regime into accepting a political settlement that leads to establishing a safe and neutral environment that leads to a transition through free and fair elections".

"Diminishing" Iran's influence in Syria is a key goal for US policy in Syria, Tillerson sasid.

However, he said that once he looks at the information it's "just his way of wanting to communicate on the subject".

While cutting support to Syrian rebel groups that have fought Assad, the United States has deepened ties with a Kurdish-led militia alliance, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), with which it partnered against Daesh. Russian Federation called the plans a plot to dismember Syria and place part of it under USA control, and Turkey described the force as a "terror army".

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