Chemical probe in Syria can't be politicized, Lavrov tells Tillerson

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, and the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, held a phone conversation on Thursday, the ministry reported, saying that situation in Syria was among the major issues discussed. The two senior diplomats talked on joint efforts to annihilate hotbeds of terrorism in Syria, while also stressing the importance of facilitating the political process through dialogue in the war-torn country. Not to add to the existing crisis, investigation of alleged chemical attacks in Syria "must not be politicized," the Russian minister told his American counterpart. The joint work of experts from the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) should be "brought up to the standards" of the Chemical Weapons Convention, Lavrov said. Officials agreed to carry on dialogue, and discussed schedule for future bilateral contacts, the Russian ministry said in a statement.