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RODOS, Greece, October 8 (Itar-Tass) — The meetings of the first delegation of the Syrian opposition may take place at the Russian Foreign Ministry on October 11; the second delegation will come to Moscow during October, said Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, speaking in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass on Saturday.
He participates in the session of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilisations”, starting discussions on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa.
The diplomat explained that Moscow waits for two Syrian delegations. The first is “the domestic opposition”, and the second – a group of opposition functionaries from abroad who announced in Istanbul establishment of the so-called Syrian National Council.
“We are ready to talk with them at the Foreign Ministry,” Bogdanov said. “This can happen even on October 11 if they have time to come. As for the outside opposition – representatives of the Syrian National Council – we expressed readiness to receive them in Moscow during October.
“The domestic opposition wanted to come even on October 10 from Syria,” the diplomat explained. “These are five or six representatives of various opposition parties. We have given a principled consent.” The deputy minister explained that the trip would be made on the sidelines of the non-government Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organisation.
“We proceed from the premise that these contacts could be useful,” the ranking diplomat reported. “We are ready to listen to arguments by opponents of the Damascus regime, on the other hand, to spell out our appraisals and forecasts directly without intermediaries.”
“Our course is aimed at settling all the emerged problems in the country by a peaceful negotiation way on the road of establishing a normal dialogue between the authorities and the opposition, having in mind that no violence will be used,” Bogdanov noted. He noted that demands of popular masses in Syria are largely substantiated; reforms are ripe. “It’s time to act,” the ranking diplomat concluded.