MOSCOW, March 16 (Itar-Tass) —— No opposition group can claim for the monopoly right to speak on behalf of the Syrian people, Russian presidential representative for the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Friday.
“We believe that the top priority is to stop violence no matter from where it comes,” the Russian high-ranking diplomat said. “Weapon supplies to illegal armed groups should be averted, because Al Qaeda militants are known to join their ranks,” he said. “We oppose strongly a foreign interference with the use of military force,” he noted.
“The mechanism of monitoring should be developed to declare the ceasefire so that no one will seek to take advantage of the current situation,” Bogdanov pointed out. “In this respect, we consider the end to the LAS observer mission as a mistake,” he remarked.
“The second task is to make relief supplies to people affected in the combat actions,” the deputy foreign minister went on to say, adding that “the UN should play the leading role in this issue.” In this respect, Bogdanov recalled that Russia already began to settle this problem. “Russian emergency airplanes have brought about 78 tonnes of relief supplies, which were passed to the Syrian Red Crescent Society,” the deputy foreign minister said. The Russian government already decided to make a donor contribution of one million Swiss francs to the International Red Cross Committee.
“Our third task is the soonest launch of Syrian domestic dialogue between the government and all opposition groups without any preconditions and any hasty results,” Bogdanov remarked. “The national dialogue should be maintained simultaneously with the reforms, which the Syrian government announced,” he said.
The high-ranking diplomat noted that the Syrian referendum on a new constitution is an important step, “which Russia encouraged Damascus to take for a long time.” “The results of the referendum in Syria showed that the incumbent authorities enjoy a real support among people,” he said. “Therefore, no opposition group can claim for the monopoly right to speak on behalf of the Syrian people, moreover, to be their legitimate representative,” he underlined.
“We are keeping contacts with all representatives of Syrian opposition, there are many of them. I do not mention notorious extremists and terrorists, who are numerous in Syria,” he indicated. “This is beyond the scope of our contacts. I hope that our partners will also adhere to this,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Russian deputy foreign minister stated that Russian assessments on Syria are taken with understanding recently in the world.