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Lavrov, Muallem to discuss security of Russian citizens, diplomatic missions in Syria

November 26, 2015, 16:59 UTC+3

Talks are scheduled for November 27, the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson says

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Foreign Ministers of Syria and Russia Walid Muallem and Sergey Lavrov

Foreign Ministers of Syria and Russia Walid Muallem and Sergey Lavrov

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/. Foreign Ministers of Russia and Syria Sergey Lavrov and Walid Muallem will discuss during the talks on November 27 the current state and prospects of bilateral relations in various fields, including humanitarian assistance to the population affected by the Syrian crisis.

"Special attention will be paid to the safety of Russian citizens and diplomatic missions that continue to work in Syria," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told a press briefing on Thursday.

The diplomat recalled that Muallem's visit to Moscow had begun on November 25. "Talks are scheduled for November 27, very detailed ones, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov," she said. "They will focus on the launching of the political process aimed at resolving the Syrian crisis. Russia has always been committed to this consistently urging all international and regional players who exert an impact on the Syrian parties to contribute to the inter-Syrian dialogue based on the Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012."

"The current situation requires concerted effort by external forces to create favorable conditions for the inter-Syrian dialogue," the diplomat noted, adding that they should not "attempt to impose ready-made solutions."

"In accordance with the understanding reached within the framework of the International Syria Support Group, conditions are necessary for launching the dialogue between Syria’s government and the Syrian opposition. They must be created before the end of this year," Zakharova said. She recalled that "Damascus had already compiled the list of its representatives for participation in the inter-Syrian dialogue." "As for the opposition groups, they are faced with the task of developing the general political platform and a team of responsible negotiators," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

According to her, during the talks the Syrian foreign minister "intends to discuss what steps could be useful in terms of building confidence between the official Damascus and opposition politicians in the interests of contributing to the subsequent promotion of the inter-Syrian dialogue."

"They will also discuss the current state and prospects of the bilateral Russian-Syrian relations in various fields, including the continued provision of humanitarian assistance to the affected population," Zakharova said. "The fighting in the sizable part of Syrian territory as well as the unilateral sanctions against Syria imposed by the West have, of course, adversely affected the trade volume between our two countries. At the same time, both Moscow and Damascus look with optimism at an opportunity to make up leeway and restore the previous level in this area. Preparations for this are underway today."

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