Lavrov Invites Trump to Syria Peace Talks

In addition to expressing readiness to meet the US president-elect once in office, the Russian foreign minister has invited the Donald Trump administration to attend Syrian peace talks
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey LavrovRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Lavrov signaled his willingness to discuss strategic stability issues, including hypersonic weapons, the US missile shield in Europe and nuclear testing with the incoming US administration

On Friday morning in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov signaled willingness to work with the incoming Trump administration on a variety of issues from Syria peace talks to international terrorism.

Lavrov issued an invitation to Trump to join the upcoming Syria peace talks in Astana. The negotiations on 23 January in the Kazakh capital were organized by Russia and Turkey, Deutsche Welle reported.

The talks will include opposition leaders and is intended to consolidate the current ceasefire. Washington’s original non-participation in the talks had been seen as a humiliation.

In addition to inviting Trump to the Astana talks, Lavrov said he is ready to meet with the incoming administration after Trump’s inauguration.

The Russian minister signaled his willingness to discuss strategic stability issues, including hypersonic weapons, the US missile shield in Europe and nuclear testing.

Lavrov stated that any deployment of NATO troops to the Baltic countries would be a bad idea, suggesting that Russia would consider such placement to be an aggressive move. US troops arrived in Poland past Saturday, beginning the first continuous deployment of western troops in NATO’s eastern region.

He also highlighted the “systemic” problem of international terrorism, including the failure by the international community to form a united front against organized crime, drug trafficking and terrorist violence.  The Russian foreign minister welcomed Trump’s expressed wish to focus on combating international terrorism.

“We can only welcome Trump’s statement that the fight against terrorism is a priority for him,” Lavrov said.

As for the recent media reports about Russia possessing “compromising” information on Trump, Lavrov called the cited source of the information-a British MI6 agent-a “charlatan”.

He also dismissed the allegations that the Russian government ordered a series of cyberattacks targeting high-ranking Democratic campaign officials.

The American intelligence agencies responsible for proving Russian links have failed to do so.

Lavrov accused the outgoing US administration of putting pressures on Tokyo to hinder the dialogue between Russia and Japan, and said Obama administration “went to great lengths in its attempts to upset the outlook for normal relations between Japan and Russia.”

“The outgoing administration has been doing unworthy things. In this particular case, they tried to make use of their relations with Japan to treat their Japanese allies as second-rate members of the international community, as subordinate members of the international community,” Lavrov said.


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