Lavrov Affirms Need for ‘Unifying Syrian Opposition’ to Hold Dialogue with Government

Moscow, SANA

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov on Monday met with a number of Syrian opposition parties, discussing the need for unifying the Syrian opposition in a constructive manner as to hold effective dialogue with the Syrian government.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Syrian opposition figures expressed appreciation for the efforts exerted by Russia to encourage a peaceful settlement for the crisis in Syria through a Syrian-Syrian dialogue based on Geneva communiqué without foreign interference.

According to the Ministry, Lavrov briefed the opposition figures on the Russian efforts to implement the initiative of the Russian President Vladimir Putin stipulating for establishing a wide coalition to confront terrorism, comprising the Syrian and Iraqi armies along with the “moderate” Syrian forces and Kurdish force and with the participation of key regional and international countries.

The Syrian opposition figures comprised Hassan Abdul-Azim, Qadri Jamil, Khaled Issa and Namroud Suleiman.


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Geneva III conference may convene after November 15

MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. The Geneva III conference on Syria may convene after November 15, leader of the Popular Front for Change and Liberation Qadri Jamil said on Monday.

“The working groups on Syria initiated by [UN Special Envoy for Syria] Staffan de Mistura should start working in mid-September and finish their work by November 15. After that, we will think about Geneva III,” Jamil said.

General coordinator of the National coordination Body for Democratic Change Hassan Abdul Azim said the Syrian opposition is thankful to Russia for its efforts to promote the process of peaceful settlement in this Middle Eastern country.

“We are thankful to Russia’s Foreign Ministry for organizing this meeting and also for the efforts that the Russian leadership and Russian Foreign Ministry makes to facilitate the political process in Syria,” Azim said. “We fully agree with Russian ideas put forward in the UN framework, including on holding Geneva III as envisaged by the Geneva communique from 30 June 2012. We are thankful to Russia for working in this direction,” he added.

“In the framework of the coordination committee that was established in 2011, we are trying to bring together the positions of all sides on future political settlement in Syria,” Azim continued adding that “several problems still exist in this sphere.”

Azim thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for his initiative to create a broad anti-terrorist front that brings together Iran, Saudi Arabia and other countries. “We are thankful for the consistent efforts of the Russian Foreign Ministry and Russian leadership to stop bloodshed in our country,” the Syrian opposition representative said.

He also noted that the Syrian opposition values the efforts of UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura who is “playing an important part” in the settlement process. Azim stressed that the Syrian opposition tries to engage as many players as possible in the process and “supports the efforts of Egypt, other Arab countries, international players.”

Lavrov and Syrian opposition discuss Putin’s anti-terror initiative

MOSCOW, August 31 /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday met Hasan Abdel Azim, the general coordinator of the Executive Office of the National Coordination Committee for the Forces of Democratic Change (NCC); representatives of the leadership of the Popular Front for Change and Liberation and the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union as well as members of the Assyrian community.

“On behalf of a group, which observes the implementation of an appeal to the UN secretary-general made by participants in the second round of inter-Syrian consultations held in Moscow, the Syrian opposition members praised Russia for its political and diplomatic efforts exerted in the interests of reaching a peaceful settlement in Syria via the inter-Syrian dialogue without any foreign interference on the basis of provisions of the Geneva communique dated June 30, 2012,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“In this context and in a bid to promote the inter-Syrian consultations held in Moscow in January and April 2015, the sides considered concrete steps in the interests of unifying the Syrian opposition on a constructive basis for the purpose of working out the general platform for a meaningful dialogue with the Syrian government,” the Russian Foreign Ministry went on to say.

Lavrov, in turn, told the Syrian opposition members about Russia’s efforts to implement the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin to form a broad anti-terror coalition that will unite the Syrian and Iraqi armies, detachments of moderate Syrian opposition, the Kurdish volunteer forces and the main regional and international players involved in the Syrian conflict in the interests of joint counteraction to the growing terrorist threat,” the ministry stressed.

The representatives of Syrian opposition also had consultations with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian president’s special representative for the Middle East and Africa, held at the Russian Foreign Ministry.

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