18-10-2019 05:35 PM Jerusalem Timing

Lavrov Receives Zarif, Stresses Russia’s Position on Syria ’Unchanged’

Lavrov Receives Zarif, Stresses Russia’s Position on Syria ’Unchanged’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia and Iran have every opportunity for a new, more advanced quality of relations.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif (L), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R)Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia and Iran have every opportunity for a new, more advanced quality of relations, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

"We appreciate our good-neighborly and friendly relations, our countries cooperate constructively in almost all directions ... we have an intensive dialogue at the highest level," Lavrov said as he opened talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

"Today there are all the possibilities to fill the Russian-Iranian relations with a new quality, even more advanced one in the spirit of agreements that have been reached between the two presidents, in the spirit of the decisions that have been made in order to resolve the Iranian nuclear program," said the Russian minister.

In a press conference following the talks, Lavrov said that Syrian leader is legitimate, and that "our position unchanged", saying that the Syria's future can only be decided by Syrians themselves.

"We exchanged opinions on the situation in the Middle East and in North Africa. Special attention was paid to effort towards contribution to the Syrian settlement, that can be only peaceful and can be achieved only on the basis of negotiations between the Syrian parties without interference from outside," Lavrov said.

Russia rejects any preliminary agreements that say that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will have to leave his post, Russian Foreign Minister said.

"Several of our partners think that they need to agree beforehand that Assad will leave his post after a transitional period. Russia does not accept this position," he notified.

Referring to the developments in eastern Ukraine, Lavrov also said that it appeared that Kyiv is preparing to renew large-scale fighting.

Zarif's visit to Moscow was organized after his tour across Middle East countries, including Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria.