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Russian Federation seeks USA cooperation on Syria reconstruction and refugee return

07 August 2018

Russian Federation has military advisers in Syria and runs a number of military bases, from which it has been carrying out an aerial bombardment campaign against Daesh Takfiri militants on behalf of the Syrian government since September 2015.

Russia's Defense Ministry confirmed on Saturday that it had proposed cooperating with the United States on Syrian refugees and de-mining in a letter sent to the top U.S. general in July, Interfax news agency reported.

According to the information of the agency, Washington reacted to the Russian plan with skepticism. The memo said the United States policy was only to support such efforts if there was a political solution to end Syria's seven-year-old civil war.

The Russian army's chief of staff General Valery Gerasimov sent the letter to Dunford on July 19, saying Moscow was willing to cooperate with Washington in demining the Arab country and helping refugees return to their homes.

Dunford's office declined comment to Reuters on communications with Gerasimov.

"In accordance with past practice, both Generals have agreed to keep the details of their conversations private", said spokeswoman Captain Paula Dunn.

"Russian diplomats and other officials have also been engaging in an aggressive campaign to describe the initiative in other capitals and to insinuate that it is an outcome of the US-Russia meeting in Helsinki, which it is not, repeat not", the memo read.

Putin cited the Russian-US military communication channel in Syria as an example of the two countries' cooperation. However, this latest report shows that the channel might also be used to discuss matters that are not strictly military in nature, Reuters notes.

Following the summit, Trump came under fire from his opponents, who claimed that Trump should have pressed Putin over alleged Russian meddling in American elections.

In this regard, Zajarova confirmed to Prensa Latina that the joint committee of the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs work together with other nations, including Western Europe, to organize and guarantee the return of the Syrians to their country.

Russian Federation seeks USA cooperation on Syria reconstruction and refugee return