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Syrian government’s delegation to hold talks in Moscow

December 27, 2012, 1:20 UTC+3

Its members are expected to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

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MOSCOW, December 27 (Itar-Tass) — A delegation of the Syrian government led by Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad will hold talks in Moscow on Thursday, a diplomatic source told Itar-Tass.

"Its members are expected to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov," he said.

To find a way to settle the Syrian crisis that has grown into a civil war Moscow has been maintaining continuous dialogue with Syria’s both governmental and oppositional structures. Thus, on December 14, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in Moscow with the leader of the Syrian Popular Front for Change and Liberation, Qadri Jamil.

Some external players refuse categorically to speak with Syria’s current regime, saying that “democracy will begin only when Assad steps down.” Russia, according to Lavrov, is not sticking to any particular regime of any particular people. Russia’s position on the Syrian settlement is to promote a national dialogue in Syria between representatives appointed by the government and the opposition. Altogether, Russia warns that staking on forcing Assad to go might entail more violence.

The main thing, as it is put in the Geneva communiqu·, is to have all parties to the Syrian conflict sit down at the negotiating table and begin a dialogue with any preliminary conditions, the Russian foreign minister stressed. Under the Geneva communiqu· signed by the Action Group on June 30, a transitional government must be formed in Syria that will include representatives from the current authorities and the opposition that will hold new parliamentary and presidential elections.

According to media reports, U.N./LAS Special Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi is actively working on a compromise roadmap of the Syrian settlement that is based on the Geneva communiqu·. Early this week, he held talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad to discuss a range of further steps to be taken to stop the conflict. Brahimi also met with representatives of the opposition who are ready for a national dialogue, in contract to the uncompromising National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces that was formed in Doha and recognized by the West as the only legal representative of the Syrian people.

Last week, Sergei Lavrov and Lakhdar Brahimi had a telephone conversation to discuss issues of the political and diplomatic settlement in Syria. The Russian foreign ministry said on Wednesday that Brahimi would pay a visit to Moscow on December 29.


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