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RF position on Syria remains unchanged – Syrian FM

December 19, 2011, 19:05 UTC+3

Further mediating efforts of Moscow will have a positive effect on the Syrian situation

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BEIRUT, December 19 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s position on Syria remains “unchanged”, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Muallem said, “We maintain contacts with the Russian leadership every day – directly or with the aid of the Russian ambassador in Damascus.”

“Russia advised us to sign a protocol to deploy observers from the League of Arab States in our country and we followed it,” the Syrian minister said. In his words, Russia “will not build its policy based on the sympathies. Russia is thoroughly studying the situation”. “Russia is pursuing the policy, which meets its interests and aimed at ensuring stability in the Middle East,” Muallem said.

The minister stressed that Syria seriously treated the monitoring group and lauds the LAS sincere efforts to help Syrians overcome the crisis. He pledged to make any contribution to LAS observers in Syria.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and League of Arab States (LAS) Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi called for the soonest arrival of monitors in Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported.

“The sides discussed the developments in the Middle East and North Africa, including assistance to the settlement of the Syrian crisis by the Syrians through a dialog supported with a constructive potential of the LAS initiative and confirmed the expediency of the soonest arrival of LAS monitors in Syria,” the ministry said.

The Syrian internal opposition supports a BRICS monitoring mission, Qadri Jamil, a member of the Central Council of the Popular Front for Change and Liberation, told Itar-Tass. He already visited Russia with a delegation of the Syrian opposition in October.

“We need monitors from the countries, which oppose interference in Syrian affairs. A BRICS monitoring mission is an acceptable variant for the opposition. In fact, this is the only way out of the current situation,” Jamil said, noting that the position was shared by the majority of patriotic opposition members. “If the government invites monitors from the United States, the United Kingdom and France, we will oppose that decision.”

Commenting on the draft resolution on Syria presented to the UN Security Council, Jamil said, “The document does not differ from the initiative of the League of Arab States (LAS). “The fulfillment of the settlement roadmap is complicated by the fact that the League expected a negative answer of Damascus from the start.”

Further mediating efforts of Moscow will have a positive effect on the Syrian situation, he said.

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