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External Syrian opposition losing its influence, Russia's top diplomat says

June 22, 12:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Sergey Lavrov noted that there is a growing influence of those who are interested in establishing intra-Syrian dialogue as soon as possible

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MOSCOW, June 22. /TASS/. Syrian opposition, which has been setting ultimatums, is starting to gradually lose its influence, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the meeting with leader of the Syria's Tomorrow Movement Ahmad Jarba.

"Those representatives of the external opposition, who are accustomed to acting only based on ultimatums and preconditions and who promoted the ideas of their foreign sponsors more than interests of the Syrian people, start gradually losing their influence," Lavrov said.

"We know about your efforts, which at all stages of the Syrian crisis have been directed at assisting the settlement and helping unite the opposition based on patriotic principles," Lavrov told Jarba.

The top Russian diplomat said these efforts are fully in compliance with the decisions of the international community that "Syrians themselves should choose the fate of their country and for that they should agree with each other."

"Now we see rather sound processes in different groups of Syria’s opposition. These processes show that your efforts start having a decisive influence on many other Syrians who care about the fate of their country," Lavrov said.

Lavrov noted that there is a growing influence of those who are interested in establishing intra-Syrian dialogue as soon as possible. "We are actively trying to help promote this mood through stepping up the Astana process and supporting the UN’s efforts on developing the Geneva round of talks," he added.

"An important aspect is to establish intra-Syrian dialogue, ensure ceasefire, create de-escalation zones as part of the Astana process and foster peaceful life - all this will allow shifting from standoff between the government forces and the armed opposition to cooperation among them, including in the war on terror," Lavrov said.

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