France, Russia discuss Syria, sidestep differences on chemical weapons

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson raised the possibility on Wednesday of several joint steps with Moscow to promote stability in Syria and urged all parties fighting Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants in the country to avoid conflict with one another.

Tillerson issued his statement before joining Trump in Europe, where the USA leader will meet Putin for the first time on Friday on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

Vladimir Dzhabarov, the first deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council's Foreign Affairs Committee, attributed the failure of the meeting to reach an agreement to uncertainties surrounding the anticipated July 8 meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Daesh is transferring workshops and equipment for the production of ammunition, including those equipped with chemical agents, from the city of Raqqa to the controlled areas of Deir ez-Zor province", Zakharova said, Sputnik reported.

The secretary's statement also floated the idea that, if the creation of such zones is successful, "it will lay a foundation for progress on the settlement of Syria's political future". Russian envoy to the UN Office in Geneva Alexey Borodavkin said that Russia was cautious about the proposal and stressed the need to coordinate such projects with the Syrian government.

He said the US-Russia co-operation would create stability in Syria as US-backed forces continue their assault on the Islamic State group.

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The three main countries behind the talks have already agreed to hold the next round of discussions in Astana in the final week of August.

Tillerson said stability in Syria would prevent IS from "rising anew from the ashes of their failed and fraudulent caliphate".

Talks between Russia, Turkey and Iran over a solution to the war in Syria, including the policing and delineation of the four previously agreed "descalation zones", have hit an impasse, according to Russia's chief negotiator Alexander Lavrentiev, reports Al Jazeera.

It's not yet clear what the two leaders will discuss when they meet on Friday, but the ongoing civil war in Syria is nearly certain to come up.

Bashar al-Jaafari, Syria's ambassador to the United Nations and leader of the Syrian government delegation to Astana, attributed the failure of the meeting to reach a final agreement on "counter-efforts" of the Turkish side, reports SANA.

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