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Russian FM to receive Syrian opposition delegation

April 26, 2012, 2:46 UTC+3

At the same time, it is clear that Annan’s road map and the monitoring group are nearly the only way to bring peace to Syrians

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MOSCOW, April 26 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will receive a delegation of the internal Syrian opposition from the National Front for Change and Liberation led by Qadri Jamil.

“We hope that our visit to Moscow will contribute to the resolution of the Syrian crisis,” Jamil told Itar-Tass ahead of the visit. “Russian diplomacy plays an active role in this respect and we would like to coordinate our activities”.

Jamil noted that neither side has so far managed to reverse the situation. “The balance of force indicates that we have to start negotiating,” he added.

Although a solution to the crisis seems to have been found (implementation of Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan and deployment of a monitoring mission to Syria), the confrontation has not been fully stopped yet.

At the same time, it is clear that Annan’s road map and the monitoring group are nearly the only way to bring peace to Syrians.

According to Jamil, the situation in the country is changing, albeit slowly, for the better after the arrival of the ceasefire monitoring group.

Not all external players stay committed to peaceful settlement and push the external opposition -- the Syrian National Council – towards further confrontation.

The external opposition keeps calling for armed interference in Syria. The Syrian government bears its share of responsibility for the crisis and often disproportionate response to the opposition’s actions. At the same time, it would be absurd to believe that President Bashar al-Assad orders his army to use tanks against armless protestors, as the Syrian National Council claims.

Russia is not looking for who is right and who is wrong but is taking energetic efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis as borne out by the U.N. Security Council resolution on the deployment of a full monitoring mission in that country, which was initiated by Moscow.

“The mission has already played a positive role, and I hope that the number of observers will be increased to 300 shortly as required and approved by the U.N. Security Council resolution,” Lavrov said.

“I hope that those who try to provoke the mission’s failure in Syria will not succeed,” he added.

Russia is receiving a Syrian opposition delegation again for the sake of the main, not declaratory, goal. The delegation of the National Coordination Committee described its latest talks in Moscow as successful.

The delegation of the National Front for Change and Liberation has a busy schedule in Moscow. It will meet with presidential special envoy to Africa and Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Mikhail Margelov on April 26. On April 27, it will have talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, who is the Russian president’s special representative for the Middle East.

The delegation will hold a press conference after the talks.

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