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Russia hopes Friends of Syria Group meeting to be devoted to preparing Geneva-2 conference

June 20, 2013, 11:32 UTC+3
Russian presidential special envoy for Africa Mikhail Margelov expressed his expectations connected with the meeting in Doha on June 22
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ST PETERSBURG, June 20 (Itar-Tass) - Russia hopes that the Friends of Syria Group meeting in Doha on June 22 will be devoted to preparing the Geneva-2 conference and not to winding up of the opposition, Russian presidential special envoy for Africa Mikhail Margelov told Itar-Tass.

“If the meeting helps prepare the Geneva-2 conference, I believe that it has the right to being held,” the Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee chairman said.

“But I’d not like such meetings to give false confidence in the opposition’s minds,” Margelov said.

“It is necessary to talk about support for Syria and not for support to [Syrian President Bashar] al-Assad,” the legislator said.

“Russia believes that it is necessary to preserve Syria as a stable and predictable power, which is the cornerstone of the Middle East settlement,” the Russian president special envoy stressed.

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