Office of the Spokesperson
May 18, 2015
U.S. Special Envoy for Syria Daniel Rubinstein traveled to Moscow on May 18 to meet with a range of senior Russian counterparts.
Special Envoy Rubinstein followed up on Secretary Kerry’s meetings on May 12 with President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov. The Special Envoy discussed with Deputy Foreign Minister Bogdanov and other senior Foreign Ministry officials how to create the conditions for a genuine, sustainable political transition in Syria that is consistent with the Geneva Communique.
Special Envoy Rubinstein highlighted shared concerns about the rise of ISIL and other extremist groups that threatens Syria and its neighbors. He noted that the Syrian regime’s brutal actions have contributed to the growth of extremism. He emphasized the urgent need to defeat these extremist groups, noting that this would require both military steps and a comprehensive political solution that addresses the legitimate grievances of the Syrian people. Special Envoy Rubinstein also stressed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s continued presence atop the Syrian regime is exacerbating sectarianism and extremism not only in Syria, but in the region.
The United States looks forward to working with Russia and the international community in the coming months on achieving a genuine, sustainable political transition as necessary to address the crisis and help defeat the extremist threat.