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Russian State Duma speaker: Broad political dialogue needed to pave way for peace in Syria

January 26, 2016, 19:58 UTC+3

The way to peace in Syria lies through the broadest political process and a dialogue of the legitimate government of Syria with the moderate opposition, Sergey Naryshkin points out

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CAIRO, January 26. /TASS/. Russia understands that a broad political dialogue between the Syrian legitimate government and the moderate opposition is needed along with decisive measures against terrorists to pave the way for peace in Syria, State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin said on Tuesday.

"We understand that the way to peace [in Syria] lies through the broadest political process and a dialogue of the legitimate government of Syria with the moderate opposition, on the one hand, and through decisive measures to destroy terrorists," Naryshkin said after a meeting with Speaker of the Egyptian House of Representatives Ali Abdel Alem.

"The leaders of Egypt and Russia have the same understanding of this problem," the State Duma speaker said.

Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Syria Staffan de Mistura earlier said that the inter-Syrian talks due to begin in Geneva on January 29 would focus on achieving truce, struggling against the Islamic State terrorist organization (outlaws in Russia) and providing humanitarian assistance.

He also said that the international peace talks on Syria would last about six months.

Russia’s aviation grouping has been delivering air strikes against the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria since September 30 at the request of Syria’s President Bashar Assad.

From November 17, the Russian aviation grouping in Syria switched to delivering massive strikes against militants, including with the involvement of strategic bombers. As the Russian Defense Ministry reported, Russia’s air grouping has focused on destroying terrorist-controlled oil extraction, storage, transportation and refining facilities.

Since 2014, the US-led coalition has also been delivering air strikes against militants in Syria and Iraq

Moscow and Washington earlier signed a memorandum on safe flights over Syria to prevent any air incidents between warplanes of the Russian air group and the US-led coalition.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has numerously urged foreign counterparts to exchange information on targets in Syria but the Pentagon has repeatedly said that it won’t provide reconnaissance data to Russia as long as Moscow supports Assad.

Meanwhile, Russia and France agreed in late November on coordinating their activities against terrorists.

The Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, convened on September 30 to approve Russian President Vladimir Putin’s request for the use of the country’s armed forces in Syria against the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groupings.

On the same day, Russia’s Air and Space Force started to deliver the first pinpointed air strikes against the militants’ positions. The Russian aviation grouping comprises more than 50 aircraft and helicopters, including the Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-24M bombers, Su-25 attack aircraft, Su-30SM fighters and Mil Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters.

Also, overnight to October 7, the Caspian Flotilla ships delivered a massive strike on the IS objectives in Syria, using Kalibr NK shipborne cruise missiles.

The Russian authorities have said on many occasions that Russia’s armed forces would not take part in any ground operation in Syria.

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