Lavrov cautions U.S. against distorting goals of conference on Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has cautioned the U.S. administration against distorting the goals of the new conference on Syria.

At a press conference held in the Kaliningrad region on Thursday, Lavrov criticized the statement made by the U.S. Department of State saying that the purpose of the Geneva-2 forum should be the formation of a transition government to which the Syrian administration will fully give all powers.

"I have heard that officials from the U.S. Department of State have given a very peculiar comment on the results of yesterday's meeting in Geneva between Russian, U.S., and UN," Lavrov said.

"Specifically, they said that Russia, the U.S., and the UN agree that the purpose of the new conference in Geneva should be the formation of a new transition government in Syria," he said.

"That really agrees with what was recorded back in 2012. However, according to the reports I have received, the Department of State added that we are talking about a transition government to which the current Syrian authorities will give all powers," Lavrov said.

"If a Department of State official really said that, it's a very distorted representation of what was discussed," Lavrov said.

"You mist agree that forming a government based on accord between the government and the opposition is one thing and forming it by transferring the powers from the government to the opposition is a totally different thing," Lavrov said.

Lavrov expressed hopes that the agreements reached in his meeting with U.S. State Secretary John Kerry in early May "will be observed in the practical actions taken by the U.S. negotiators." "Our negotiators will strictly follow this particular agreement," Lavrov said.

Jennifer Psaki, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, earlier said in Washington that the participants in the preparatory meeting had agreed that the conference on Syria should focus on the formation of a transition government body, to which the current government institutions should transfer all powers, and that the Syrian regime will not have any executive powers anymore.

In the meantime, Lavrov recalled that "it was clearly stated at the Geneva conference that the purpose of the negotiation process should be the formation of a transition management body base don accord between the government and the opposition," adding that "the fate of specific persons on the Syrian political scene will be decided by the people of Syria."

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