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Lavrov: Russia, Germany say Kurds’ must be at inter-Syrian peace talks in Geneva

March 23, 2016, 13:06 UTC+3

The two countries agree that it is necessary to provide for an authentically inclusive nature of the inter-Syrian talks, the Russian Foreign Minister says

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. Moscow and Berlin believe that all parties representing Syria’s political opposition should be in attendance at the inter-Syrian peace talks in Geneva, and it includes Kurds as well, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

"We have paid a particular attention to the [Syrian] political process," Lavrov said after a meeting in Moscow with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier. "We welcome all developments, which are currently underway in Geneva."

"As far as I understand, we do both believe that it is necessary to provide for an authentically inclusive nature of the inter-Syrian talks, so that the negotiations would be attended by delegations from the government and the whole range of the Syrian political opposition, including Kurds as well, since the foundations of the Syrian government is at the issue," the top Russian diplomat added.

Russia’s persistent efforts in Syria could be beneficial to the world, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at a meeting with Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday.

"The persistent efforts of Russia in Syria may benefit the world," he said. "We are in the middle of our efforts to find a solution to the Syrian crisis."

For the first time over the five past years the dialogue on Syria has advanced greatly, Steinmeier went on to say.

"We have never ever managed to advance (in the Syrian settlement process) over the past five years as far as we have today. After the meeting (of the International Syria Support Group - ISSG) in Vienna and after our agreement in Vienna and Munich the hope for the political process emerged for the first time," he said.

Talks on prisoner swap between the Syrian government and the opposition should be launched as soon as possible, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told a news conference after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday.

"If we want this process [Syrian settlement] to be successful, we need to continue our efforts and to jointly exert pressure on the parties to the conflict," Steinmeier told reporters.

"We need to begin talks on prisoner exchange as soon as possible between the regime representatives and the opposition representatives. In the end, we should achieve an agreement on a unified secular state in Syria where all peoples could live in peace," he said.

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