UN envoy Pedersen says Russia is playing key role in Syria settlement

Russia is playing a key role in the settlement of the Syrian conflict, the new UN Secretary-General’s special envoy Geir Pedersen said in Moscow on Monday. He made the statement at a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, TASS reported. Pedersen met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier in the day. “We definitely highly value our cooperation in the Astana format and with the UN in promoting the political process in line with [UN Security Council’s] Resolution 2254,” the Russian minister said. Lavrov added that the joint efforts of the UN, Russia and the Middle East countries made it possible to achieve numerous results “on land” in Syria, including with regards to humanitarian issues.