7 August 201309:36

Comment by the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the visit of the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the United States

1542-07-08-2013

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1. Within the framework of the trip to the United States together with the Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu for consultations in two plus two format, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will make a short stop in New York on the 8 August, where he will have a meeting with the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to compare the approaches to the resolution of the most acute international problems.

In particular, the plan is to discuss the prospects of settlement of the situation in Syria within the context of the Russian-American initiative to convene an international conference on the Syrian Arab Republic and the development of the situation in the Middle East in general. There will also be an exchange of opinions about the situation in Afghanistan having an unstable nature against the backdrop of the withdrawal of the international contingencies and the transfer of responsibility for the maintenance of security to the country's own security agencies.

Russia consistently advocates for the strengthening of the central coordinating role of the UN in conjunction with the development of coordinated approaches to the solution of global problems in the area of security, development and human rights.

2. In accordance with the agreements reached during the meeting of President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama on the 17 June "in the fields" of the G8 summit in Lough Erne, joint consultations of the heads of the foreign services and the defences services of Russia and the United States will take place in Washington on the 9 August. The agenda includes a broad range of issues of strategic stability and international security.

The plan is to devote special attention to the problems of missile defence, which remain one of the serious irritants in bilateral relations. We expect the American party to be disposed towards serious and constructive talks for the purposes of an outcome of mutually acceptable solutions on this topic.

We also expect to discuss the prospects of further interaction in the area of arms control, security of outer space activities and non-proliferation of WMD's. We intend to review some topical issues of bilateral cooperation in the military arena.

There will also be an exchange of opinions on acute regional problems. As to Syria, we intend to assess progress in the implementation of the agreements reached earlier about holding the international conference on the political settlement of the internal Syrian conflict ("Geneva-2"). In addition to all this, the situation in Afghanistan in the context of the forthcoming withdrawal of international forces from the country, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula and around Iran's Nuclear Programme will also be discussed.

7 August 2013

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