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It’s absolutely impossible to change regime in Syria – Russian Foreign Minister

April 17, 2013, 15:26 UTC+3

"If the priority is to dismiss Bashar al-Assad, new lives will be the price of such geopolitical approach,” Sergei Lavrov said

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ISTANBUL, April 17 (Itar-Tass) – It is absolutely impossible to change the regime in Syria as a precondition for launching the dialogue, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

After Wednesday’s session of the Russian-Turkish Strategic Planning Group, Lavrov said, “A precondition is set forth – it is necessary to change the regime in order to start the dialogue. But it is absolutely impossible. If anyone wants to do this, let’s give some hints.”

“Russia does not seek to change the regime in Syria and initiate such attempts,” the minister said after the talks with his Turkish counterpart Ahmed Davutoglu.

“We’re committed to the positions, which are recorded in the Geneva communique. All external players agreed with the need to start the dialogue to allow the authorities and the opposition to reach accord on the composition and the functions of a transition structure,” the Russian minister said.

“If all participants in the Geneva meeting are guided by this principle, the obstacles, which are being created artificially, will be removed,” he said, adding, “The obstacles are created by those who favour the war to the bitter end.”

Lavrov noted, “The choice is very easy: if we prioritise the transition to peaceful life and democratic reforms, it will be necessary to make those who are engaged in the war to start negotiations. If the priority is to dismiss Bashar al-Assad, new lives will be the price of such geopolitical approach.”

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