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Russia says US refuses to meet delegation to discuss Syria

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Moscow: Russia says the United States has refused to host a delegation led by the Russian prime minister for discussions on Syria.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Washington notified Moscow Wednesday of its refusal to meet the Russian delegation. He said Russia made the offer in late September when President Vladimir Putin met with US President Barack Obama during the UN General Assembly.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said later that Washington’s decision wouldn’t help combat the Islamic State group and settle the Syrian conflict.

He said Putin’s offer to send the delegation led by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev underlined Moscow’s desire to raise the level of discussions.

Since the offer was made, Russia has launched airstrikes in Syria. Lavrov said Washington will only agree to military talks to avoid clashes.