After the United Nations security council failed to adopt a resolution for peace in Syria, international talks led by the US and Russia were held in Swiss capital of Lausanne on Saturday to discuss the Syrian crisis.
The spokesperson for Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Abou Zaid said in a statement on Friday that US secretary of state John Kerry invited Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to participate in the talks. Abou Zaid said that Kerry put an emphasis on the importance of Shoukry’s presence owing to Egypt’s important role in reaching a political solution in Syria.
The US and Russia are participating in the Lausanne talks along with representatives from countries which have direct influence in Syria, including Egypt, Turkey, and Qatar, among others.
Egypt voted last week on two different draft resolutions in the UN security council, the first being a resolution filed by France and backed by Spain and the US, whereas the second was filed by Russia. Egypt’s voting on both resolutions caused controversy. Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar severely criticised Egypt’s vote in favour of the Russian resolution. Veto power was used against both resolutions, leaving the council without a peace solution for Syria
According to Russian news agency TASS, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia will not propose a new initiative, but will offer concrete steps that will implement the previous resolutions of the UN security council. The Russian presidential aide said on Saturday that the Kremlin also hopes for positive results.
The Russian ambassador to the US said that the relations between Russia and the US have become strained. Tensions between the two may be their worst levels since 1973, according to Middle East News Agency (MENA).
The two nations have adopted different stances from the political turmoil in Syria; Russia is backing Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad while the US is backing the unarmed opposition. Russia’s airstrikes in the already besieged city of Aleppo have resulted in the death of thousands.
Following the close of the UN security council, Egypt’s ambassador to the UN Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta said that Egypt voted on both peace resolutions because it is seeking any political solutions for the crisis in Syria.
Since the turmoil in Syria started in 2011 Egypt has shown no particular stance and has not supported either side.