December 12, 2016 / 3:33 AM / 8 months ago

Russia says no agreement with U.S. on safe exit for Aleppo rebels - RIA

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov sits near the Syrian national flag as he addresses a news conference in Damascus June 28, 2014.Omar Sanadiki/Files

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Sunday that Moscow had not reached an agreement with the United States for rebel fighters in Syria's Aleppo to have safe passage out of the city, RIA news agency reported.

Rebel officials told Reuters earlier on Sunday that a proposal had been tabled by the two countries for fighters to leave the city with their families and other civilians.

"What western agencies are reporting does not necessarily correspond with reality," Ryabkov said, adding that Russia was working to create the necessary conditions for the safe extraction of people from Aleppo.

"The issue of withdrawing militants is the subject of separate agreements. This agreement has not yet been reached, largely because the United States insists on unacceptable terms," RIA quoted him as saying.

Ryabkov said there was no discussion about a joint agreement with the United States on Syria which would then be considered by the opposition. The rebel groups in Aleppo said they had yet to respond to the proposal.

Talks between Russian and U.S. experts will continue in Geneva, he said, adding: "There is some progress, but no agreement."

Reporting by Jack Stubbs; editing by David Clarke

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