On August 23, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said that the meeting with his counterpart Nikolai Patrushev in Geneva witnessed a great progress and revealed that many communication channels between Washington and Moscow will be reopened.
“I think we made a lot of progress, we identified certain areas where lines of communication could be restored and more work done by the affected agencies – State Department, Defense Department, other agencies as well,” Bolton said during a press conference after the meeting with Patrushev, according to the Reuters news agency.
Bolton added that the Iranian military presence in Syria was discussed during the meeting with Patrushev and said that both sides are considering steps to solve this issue. However, the U.S. National Security Advisor said that the Russians don’t think that an Iranian withdrawal from Syria is possible now.
“Our objective is that all Iranian forces return to Iran … And we talked about a variety of ways in which it might be accomplished through a series of steps,” Bolton said.
From his side, Patrushev said that Russia put forward specific initiatives on each of the issues raised during the meeting concerning cooperation between Russia and the US.
“The issue at hand is practical steps that both countries could take to increase mutual understanding on major international security problems and in bilateral relations,” Patrushev said during a separate press conference, according to the Russian news agency TASS.
Russia’s National Security Advisor also revealed that he had invited Boloton to a new round of talks in Russia. However, the date of the new round has not been agreed on yet.
A day earlier, Bolton claimed that Russia is Russia is “struck” in Syria. The statement triggered a response from Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who said that all foreign forces staying in Syria without an invitation from the Damascus government must leave the country clearly meaning troops of the US-led coalition.