Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen discussed humanitarian issues in Syria on Thursday and the implementation of a UN Security Council resolution on a settlement at a meeting in Moscow.
Lavrov expressed hope that the adoption of a new resolution regarding humanitarian issues will change the situation for the better.
"The resolution clearly says there must be deliveries of humanitarian goods cross-line, and the same resolution provides for specific projects aimed at restoring electricity, water supply, health facility, schooling,” he said. “There is a very clear mandate in addition to 2254 for the secretary-general not only to do all those things but to report regularly how these projects are being implemented," he said about the resolution for a “road map” adopted in 2015.
Lavrov added that Pedersen's visit is "a nice opportunity to exchange assessments, views, and to see the way forward," especially since the next meeting of the constitutional committee can be convened soon.
"Dear Mr. Pedersen we are very glad to host once again you and your delegation to continue our very productive, I would say, though not always easy, dialogue on the promotion of the settlement in Syria," he said.
Pedersen agreed on the importance of the resolution on humanitarian issues but stressed it should not overshadow the necessity of promoting a political solution.
"As I said on the day of the adoption of this resolution, I hope that the common understanding that we made on the humanitarian issues could also be developed into more of unity when it comes to the political problems,” he said. “Because we need to make sure that we not only address the humanitarian issues but also all the issues are addressed."
Pedersen proposed that all players "sit together and discuss what all of us can bring to the table," including on matters of improving the economic situation and unifying Syria.
"You highlighted the humanitarian issues, you also know that the economic situation in Syria is extremely difficult, 9 out of 10 living in poverty, we have Syria divided into three -- more or less -- areas, all of this should be changed. But for this to change we need to start working concretely on implementing the UN Security Council resolution 2254," he said.