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US-Russia hold video conference on Syrian air space: Pentagon

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Washington: Senior defence officials from the US and Russia held a video conference on flight safety over the Syrian air space, the Pentagon said today ahead of the crucial Syria peace talks due to begin tomorrow in Geneva.

“The two sides discussed measures to enhance operational safety for counter-ISIS coalition including the means to avoid accidents and unintended confrontation between coalition and Russian forces whenever the two sides operate in close proximity,” the Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said.

The video conference was co-chaired by the Acting Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs Elissa Slotkin and Joint Staff Director for Strategic Plans and Policy Lt Gen Kenneth F McKenzie with Russian Ministry of Defence counterparts.

They discussed ongoing implementation of the US-Russia memorandum of understanding (MOU) on flight safety over Syrian airspace.

“Today’s meeting follows previous video conferences between the Department of Defence and the Russian Ministry of Defence in October 2015 to discuss the safety of coalition air operations in Syria,” Cook said.

The Syria peace talks will be held tomorrow in Geneva.

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