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Russia FM: Vienna talks on Syria should not boil down to Assad’s fate

November 09, 2015, 17:13 UTC+3 YEREVAN

The next meeting on the Syrian settlement in Vienna must focus on lists defining terrorists and patriotic opposition forces in the war-torn Arab country

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

YEREVAN, November 9. /TASS/. The attempts to reduce talks on Syria in Vienna to demands for the resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad lead us astray from reaching the settlement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

"Some of the partners are trying to boil down the talks to demands for Assad’s resignation," he said. "However, this only leads us astray from the settlement."

Syria talks must focus on lists defining terrorists, oppositionists

According to Lavrov, another meeting on the Syrian settlement in Vienna must focus on lists separating terrorists and patriotic oppositionists in the war-torn Arab country.

"Without consent on the lists of terrorists and oppositionists it will be hard to count on the success of the Vienna meeting, which is scheduled to take place soon," Lavrov said. "Therefore, we have quite a pragmatic task at this meeting."

"The Vienna format is now the basic, if not the sole, format of negotiations on settlement between the main players," Lavrov said.

"This is just the beginning of a long and difficult process," he added.

Russia suggests including OIC, Arab League in Vienna format 

The Russian diplomat noted that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League should join the Vienna format talks on the Syria settlement.

"Another meeting in the extended format is to be held soon," he said. "We think it necessary to supplement the list of participants in the Vienna talks of October 30 with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League."

"The Organization of Islamic Cooperation unites all Islamic countries," the minister noted. "Its participation in this process is essential since many seek to picture the developments in and around Syria as a conflict between the Sunni and the Shia."

Lavrov said attempts to do that were a "flagrant provocation with obviously wrong goals." "Regrettably, many leaders of responsible countries, including in the West, are falling for this provocation and even are playing to it," he added.

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