John Kerry denies US stalling on Aleppo talks with Russia | world-news | Hindustan Times
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John Kerry denies US stalling on Aleppo talks with Russia

world Updated: Dec 06, 2016 21:29 IST
John Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry delivers his speech after beeing awarded by German Foreign Minister with the the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, at the foreign ministry on December 5, 2016 in Berlin. / AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL(AFP)

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday rejected Russian charges Washington was stalling talks on a rebel withdrawal from the Syrian city of Aleppo in order to buy them time.

“I’m not aware of any specific refusal,” Kerry said when asked about Moscow’s charges as he attended a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov earlier Tuesday accused the United States of bad faith over Aleppo where President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have gained significant ground in a Moscow-backed offensive.

Read | Syria army closes in on key Aleppo district

“It looks like an attempt to buy time for the rebels to have a breather, take a pause and replenish their reserves,” Lavrov said.

Moscow had the impression “a serious discussion with our American partners isn’t working out,” he added.

Lavrov on Monday said Russia and the US would meet in Switzerland on either Tuesday or Wednesday to discuss a proposal put forward by Kerry last week on a complete rebel withdrawal from eastern Aleppo.

The rebels dismissed any withdrawal, prompting Lavrov to warn that “they will be destroyed” if they stay.

Russia and China on Monday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling for a seven-day ceasefire in Aleppo.

Lavrov and Kerry have met repeatedly to try and find a solution to the Syrian conflict but to no avail.

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