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QUESTION: Do you have a readout of Under Secretary Sherman’s visit to Russia?
ANSWER: Under Secretary Sherman had very serious discussions with both Deputy Foreign Minister Gatilov and Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov, in particular on issues regarding Syria and Iran. As usual, the discussions were direct and fulsome.
Under Secretary Sherman also did an interview with Interfax about major issues of international concern.
On Syria, she indicated we did not support the extension of the UNSMIS mandate. It was intended to monitor a cease-fire that does not exist. We supported a small UN observer presence in Syria and were discussing at UNSC how this could be done. The beginning of a political process is in the international community’s long-term interests.
On Iran, she said we remain committed to the two-track approach, and believe diplomacy still has a chance to succeed.
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