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RF, CCASG agree to ensure territorial integrity of Syria — Lavrov

November 15, 2012, 3:26 UTC+3

The Russian foreign minister stressed, “Bloodshed in Syria should be ceased. What has happened here is horrible”

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AL RIYADH, November 15 (Itar-Tass) — Russia and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf stress the need to ensure sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Speaking at the Russian-CCASG ministerial meeting on Wednesday, November 14, Lavrov said, “We are unanimous in the necessity to ensure sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria. It is necessary to hold the dialogue without external interference.”

The Russian foreign minister stressed, “Bloodshed in Syria should be ceased. What has happened here is horrible.”

Lavrov noted, “There are cases of the violation of international humanitarian law from the government and the opposition.”

The Russian minister also called for searching for an agreement on membership of the transition governing body in Syria.

In addition, Russia voices deep concern over the situation on the Palestinian territories, Lavrov stressed.

“What has happened on the Palestinian territories arouses serious concern. It is necessary to immediately stop shootings and attacks.” Lavrov regretted that the Quartet for Mideast Peace was unable to gather and share the party’s position on the need to resume the talks between Palestinians and Israelis as soon as possible.

“We are convinced that the Quartet should resume the work as soon as possible in contact with the League of the Arab States,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov said an all-Syrian dialogue was impossible without unification of the external and internal opposition in Syria. “We’ve stated today that all opposition in Syria has not unified yet,” Lavrov said.

The Russian minister recalled that the Doha meeting focused on Syria. “Leading internal opposition groups in Syria refused to go to Doha. They have the disagreements [with the external opposition],” he explained.

“We insist the Syrian opposition be unified. We are meeting with representatives of the opposition in Moscow and other cities. We call on all opposition groups to unify and form a team to conduct talks. The key goal of all opposition groups should be the readiness for the dialogue,” the Russian foreign minister stressed.

Commenting on the results of the conference in Doha where the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces is formed, Lavrov said, “We must study documents, which were approved in Doha. There are many questions, primarily related to the categorical refusal to hold the dialogue with the Syrian government and to overthrow the regime in Syria.”

“I don’t believe that this is the way, which will allow us to avoid chaos,” he said.

“I believe that without the internal Syrian opposition it is difficult to hope that the process will involve all Syrians,” the Russian foreign minister stressed.

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