August 4, 2018 / 12:50 PM / in 2 months

UPDATE 1-Russia confirms proposed Syria cooperation with United States

(Adds Russian defence ministry’s statement)

MOSCOW, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Russia’s Defence Ministry confirmed on Saturday that it had proposed cooperating with the United States on Syrian refugees and de-mining in a letter sent to the top U.S. general in July.

The proposals on refugees concerned a refugee camp in Rukban, the ministry said in a statement.

In the letter, Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian military’s General Staff, said Moscow was ready to discuss with Damascus safety guarantees for refugees stranded at Rukban, as well as creating conditions for their return home.

Rukban lies within a 55 km so-called de-confliction zone set up by the United States to ensure the safety of its garrison close to the Iraqi-Syrian border.

“A proposal was also made to coordinate humanitarian de-mining, including in Raqqa, and other priority humanitarian issues,” the Russian ministry said.

Reuters reported the letter on Friday, citing a U.S. government memo. (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; editing by Jason Neely)

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