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Lavrov and Tillerson hold phone talks on Syria, Russia-US relations

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had a telephone conversation on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

"During the discussion of international problems Lavrov expressed regret over the US opposition to Russia's initiative in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW] to dispatch inspectors to Syria for verifying the reports on the use of Sarin nerve gas in the town of Khan Sheykhun on April 4 and the presence of poison chemicals on the Shayrat airbase," the ministry said.

"Lavrov and Tillerson agreed to issue instructions for pondering a possibility to organize an independent investigation of the incident under the aegis of the OPCW ," it said.

The sides also considered some items on the bilateral agenda, with Lavrov making accent on the demand "to return the Russian diplomatic properties in the US, which the Obama Administration confiscated unlawfully."

"Lavrov and Tillerson also agreed on kick-starting the work of a joint expert group at the level of deputy foreign ministers to tap the ways of eliminating the irritants from bilateral relations," the report said.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 21Apr17]

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