Russia holds US responsible for delay in Syrian settlement

Moscow:Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that it is the United States and its allies, not Russia, that are responsible for the delay in seeking a peaceful settlement of the Syria crisis. The top Russian diplomat, who is attending the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, made the remarks to refute a recent statement of US Secretary of State John Kerry, who said that Washington was losing patience with Russia and Syria's Bashar al-Assad, who are "creating obstacles" to a solution in the war-torn country, Xinhua news agency reported. "It is not correct to demonstrate impatience referring to us," said Lavrov. He noted that it was "due to the position of our US partners who are unable, or do not want to exert pressure on their allies in the region" that led to the failure of making all parties involved in the Syria settlement to sit at the negotiating table. Turkey was not ready to admit Syrian Kurds, while some members of the opposition, which cooperate with the United States and their allies, refuse to treat other opposition groups as equals, he added. Lavrov said that in February Kerry himself stressed the necessity for all groups territorially mixed with the Nusra Front and Islamic State terrorist groups to distance themselves from them and leave those zones. However, the US side is now saying that they are unable to remove the "good" opposition members from the positions held by the Nusra Front, and that they still need an additional two or three months, said the diplomat.