Tillerson, new Russian ambassador meet to talk battle in Syria

Anatoly Antonov and the US secretary of state have met to attempt ironing out difference over Syria

(Sputnik) – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov met to discuss defeating the Islamic State terrorist group (also referred to as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh in Arabic) in Syria and reaffirmed their commitment to the Geneva peace process, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

“The two also discussed the defeat of ISIS in Syria and the United States’ continued commitment to the Geneva talks as the best path toward a political solution to the conflict,” Nauert said after the meeting.

The diplomats also discussed implementing the Minsk accord and countering the North Korean threat, Nauert added.

“Other topics included countering the threat posed by North Korea and the prospects for improving our bilateral relationship,” she said.

Spokesman of the Russian Embassy in the United States Nikolay Lakhonin said that Anatoly Antonov at the meeting noted the frustrating state of bilateral relations between Moscow and Washington.

“During the meeting, Ambassador Antonov noted the frustrating state of the bilateral relations, the deficiency of the US policy of sanctions based on unsubstantiated accusations of Russia’s interference in the US presidential election,” Lakhonin said.

According to the spokesman, the ambassador urged to “review this unconstructive policy,” and stressed that Russia and the United States as the two largest nuclear powers and permanent members of the UN Security Council bear special responsibility for the international peace and security.

Earlier in the day, the Treasury Department announced in a directive that the United States has banned providing goods, services or technology for projects with Russia related to deepwater, arctic offshore, or shale exploration or production.

Last week, Tillerson provided Congress with a list of entities and individuals that should be targeted under the latest round of anti-Russia sanctions.

Also, Antonov transferred to the US Secretary of State the statement adopted by the Russian Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) on the Iranian nuclear deal.

“The ambassador passed on to the secretary of state a copy of the Federation Council’s address to the parliaments of the United States, China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and to the European Parliament on the danger of the United States withdrawing from the agreement on the Iranian nuclear deal,” Lakhonin said in a statement.

The Federation Council approved the statement in late October, stressing that the possible US withdrawal from the deal could bring “irreparable damage” to the efforts of maintaining the nuclear nonproliferation regime.

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