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Lavrov starts talks with Syrian National Coordination Committee

November 29, 2012, 16:20 UTC+3

Representatives of the Kurds are involved in the opposition delegation led by Hassan Abdel Azim

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MOSCOW, November 29 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has started talks with a delegation of the internal Syrian opposition – the National Coordination Committee (NCC).

Representatives of the Kurds are involved in the opposition delegation led by Hassan Abdel Azim.

According to Azim, the Committee’s members want to hear Lavrov giving an assessment on the situation in Syria and exchanging views on this issue. “We visited Moscow in the middle of April. Then we said we supported the efforts by the international community to search for ways to overcome the crisis, cease armed clashes and start the peace process,” he stressed.

“Today we will put forth proposals on stopping violence and killings in Syria, as well as what external players should do in order to cease violence,” the head of the Syrian opposition delegation said.

For his part, NCC coordinator abroad Haitham Al Manaa told Itar-Tass that the talks with the government “are needed to change the regime and its essence. We cannot talk about the dialogue if the incumbent government remains in power”.

“The priority task is to resume the political resolution of the crisis on the basis of the Geneva communique. If violence continues, it will be destructive for Syria,” Al Manaa said.

The Syrian representative said he is convinced, “The crisis cannot be settled without Russia.”

At the same time, he said, “A collective decision by all permanent members of the U.N. Security Council is indispensable. It is very important to comply with the Geneva spirit and to make the parties to follow it.”

Commenting on prospects for unity between the external and internal oppositions, he said, “Now there are many illusions among the armed opposition. The situation is difficult in order to talk about the unification.”

Speaking about the earlier talks with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, Al Manaa said, “The Russian deputy minister confirmed an idea of political resolution of the crisis and local ceasefire.”

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