MOSCOW, May 2 (Itar-Tass) —— No decisions about Syria’s future should be imposed from outside, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and presidential Middle East envoy Mikhail Bogdanov said on Wednesday.
Russian has contacts with various opposition groups, both inside and outside Syria, he noted. “There should be a place for them to meet and hold a conference. There are ideas to hold a meeting in Cairo,” Bogdanov said. We know that a delegation from the Syrian Popular Front for Liberation and Change has suggested that a broad conference of opposition forces should be convened inside Syria. Such a conference is tasked to square a common platform in order to enter a dialogue with the government with an agreed position.”
“We hail such moods and if other opposition forces stick to a similar position it would be much easier to build bridges,” he noted. “Such a process would automatically sooth the situation.”
At the same time, he went on, there are destructive forces that want no reforms whatsoever. “They understand that they would not be able to come to power in elections,” the Russian diplomat said. “These forces include extremists, radical forces, such as Al-Qaeda.”
According to Bogdaov, patriotically-minded forces “so far are sticking to tough approaches to cooperation with the ruling regime.”
“Obviously, this is not a one-time process, it requires wisdom and tenacity,” he said. “Syria is ripe for changes. Elections and a national dialogue is the best format of change.” The Syrian people must have its say about its future, “such decisions should not be imposed from outside,” he stressed.