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Russia, Syria top diplomats to discuss all aspects of the Syrian political process launch

November 27, 2015, 9:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the ministerial talks due on December 30 in Moscow will be very detailed and substantial
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Foreign Ministers of Russia and Syria — Sergey Lavrov (right) and Walid Muallem (left)

Foreign Ministers of Russia and Syria — Sergey Lavrov (right) and Walid Muallem (left)

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, November 27. /TASS/. The joint fight against terrorism and the launch of a political process in Syria will be discussed in Moscow on Monday by the Foreign Ministers of Russia and Syria — Sergey Lavrov and Walid Muallem. Muallem is in the Russian capital since November 25, he has met with speaker of the Russian State Duma lower house of parliament Sergey Naryshkin, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and head of the Duma’s International Affairs Committee Alexey Pushkov.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the ministerial talks will be "very detailed and substantial." They will focus on the issue of the political process start. ""The current situation requires concerted effort by external forces to create favourable conditions for the inter-Syrian dialogue," the diplomat noted, adding that they should not "attempt to impose ready-made solutions," ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

"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."

On October 20, Syrian President Bashar Assad visited the Russian capital, and before that Muallem visited Moscow on June 29. It was then that Russian President Vladimir Putin, in essence, for the first time put forward the initiative to establish a broad anti-terrorist front.

Turkey, aiming for the Russian Su-24 plane, certainly targeted the future coalition prospects. The entire agenda of Friday’s talks in Moscow is likely to be centred round the incident in the Syrian sky on November 24. The downing of the Russian bomber, in addition to the coalition, raises the issue of the formation of the list of terrorist groups and the opposition organisations.

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