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MOSCOW, February 27. /TASS/. Only the Syrian people should determine their country’s fate through democratic procedures, so demands for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s resignation are inadmissible, Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament), said speaking at the 6th conference of the Valdai Club on Middle East Dialogue.
"We continue to believe that calls for the Syrian president’s immediate resignation as solely the basic formula for solving Syria’s problems are unacceptable. Only the Syrian people should determine the fate of their state through democratic procedures," she stressed. Matviyenko added that Russia never concealed its opposition towards the invasion of Iraq by the coalition forces, the destruction of Libya’s statehood and fomenting civil war in Yemen. "The result of all these actions, humane in words but inhumane in actual fact is always the same - suffering and sacrificing those whom they sought to free from suffering and sacrifice," the speaker noted.
She added that while providing military support to the legitimate Syrian government in its fight against terrorists, Russia is focusing more and more bolstering the peace process in Syria and efforts to achieve national accord there. In her view, an important step in the political settlement of the Syrian conflict were the talks in Astana to which Russia, Turkey and Iran gave its political support. "We are confident that these consultations were a significant contribution to the process of political negotiations on the Syrian issue in Geneva," Matviyenko emphasized.