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Lavrov: Syrian National Council's refusal to participate proves need to convene the conference on Syria as soon as possible

October 14, 2013, 15:32 UTC+3
Foreign Minister: the delay plays in the hands of Jihadists, radicals, extremists and terrorist groups
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Photo EPA/ MARTIAL TREZZINI

Photo EPA/ MARTIAL TREZZINI

MOSCOW, October 14 (Itar-Tass) - Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that a statement made by head of the Syrian National Council (SNC) George Sabra saying he refused to go to Geneva proved the need to convene the conference on Syria as soon as possible.

After the talks with his Honduran counterpart Mireya Aguero on Monday, Lavrov said, “The statement proves again that it is necessary to convene the conference as soon as possible. The key obstacle is that our partners are unable to make the Syrian opposition to go to Geneva and start talks with the government.”

Lavrov said Russia believes that it “is necessary to determine the date of the conference as soon as possible because the delay plays in the hands of Jihadists, radicals, extremists and terrorist groups that strengthen their positions more and more. Risks are real that they can win in several areas of Syria”.

“By delaying the Geneva-2 conference we create favourable conditions for continuing the bloody war and strengthening the positions of radical and extremist forces,” the minister added.

At the same time, he said the United States assumed responsibility for the opposition’s participation in the peaceful settlement. “Our partners said they would succeed in gathering all parties to take part in the conference under the auspices of the National Coalition,” Lavrov said.

“These days my colleague John Kerry has told me they will deal with this matter. But there is no progress till now. Moreover, statements are being made to refuse to go to Geneva and to withdraw from the National Coalition, which, for its part, loses its position and its prestige. The Syrian National Council and the groups, which represent its interests and carry on war on its land, give up cooperation with it,” the minister said.

“We’ve reports saying these processes are being actively supported and financed by influential regional players that is why our warnings many obstacles will be created from those who come against any political process and who only seeks to use force against Syria in order to overthrow the regime are of high priority,” Lavrov said.

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