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Russia lauds Syria’s joining of OPCW

October 17, 2013, 16:10 UTC+3

However, Russia cannot confirm that the Geneva-2 conference may be convened on November 23-24

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MOSCOW, October 17 (Itar-Tass). — Russia lauds Syria’s joining of the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

He added that the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had come into effect on October 14.

“We laud Syria’s joining of the Convention,” the diplomat said, adding, “Damascus proves its commitment to the full elimination of chemical weapons in Syria within a month.”

“At present, the Syrian opposition must comply with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2118,” he said.

Syria has become the 190th member of the OPCW.

No confirmation on Geneva 2 dates

Russia does not confirm or deny reports the Geneva 2 conference may be convened on November 23-24, Alexander Lukashevich noted.

“As for the date, I can say this is the matter of the U.N. Secretary-General to appoint it and coordinate with all participants,” the diplomat said, adding, “The Syrian government said it was ready to take part in the forum.”

Syrian opposition incoherent

An idea of uniting the Syrian opposition under the umbrella of the National Coalition has been practically buried, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

“The National Coalition is not anything coherent. It is not a core where all groups would have the common position,” the diplomat said.

“One can’t delay the Geneva-2 conference. The father it delays the more chances radicals have to get back own due to the lack of political settlement of the conflict,” he said, adding, “We should convince the Syrian parties, which should gather in Geneva to make the choice in favour of political settlement.”

“The situation is becoming difficult in the Syrian opposition, which uses dangerous forms of the armed fight and refutes the political settlement. Americans and a series of regional states, which provide funding to the groups, should make the opposition to unite and arrive in Geneva,” Lukashevich said.

Invitation for Iran

Russia calls for inviting Iran to take part in the Geneva-2 conference on Syria.

“Many people realise that it is necessary to invite Iran to take part in the conference on the Syrian settlement,” the diplomat said, adding, “Russia upholds this idea due to Iran’s role in the region and its influence upon the events in Syria,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

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