PARIS, November 14. /TASS/. Russia favors the preservation of Syria as a single and sovereign country, Russian Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said on Tuesday.
"We believe the primary objective is to help preserve Syria as a single, independent and sovereign, secular and democratic country," he noted speaking at the residence of the European Parliament in Strasbourg while opening the exhibition of Russian journalists’ photographs dedicated to developments in Syria.
"This is the only way of ensuring the implementation of the aspirations of Syrians themselves who are to determine the future of their country."
Chizhov pointed to dynamically developing trends in Syria, which make it possible to hope that terrorists will be fully eliminated. According to the Russian envoy, that will help "reach agreements between Syrians with the subsequent launch of a real political process."
"The conditions for that are gradually created during the meetings in Astana, and there were seven such meetings," he noted. According to Chizhov, the setting up of the de-escalation zones has led to a substantial improvement of the situation.
The Russian envoy noted the emergence of conditions for "returning to civilian life, the beginning of restoring what has been destroyed, not only in the material sphere, but also in terms of trust between various population groups." He called on the international community to "support the de-escalation process and stabilization in Syria, including through providing additional assistance to the population in that country." He also highlighted the importance of such steps as "assistance to humanitarian demining, preservation of historical heritage, restoration of critical infrastructure."
According to the ambassador, it is necessary to accelerate the movement towards a long-term and stable settlement in Syria whose milestones are enshrined in UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
"The efforts made by us are designed to help accelerate the infra-Syrian consultations in Geneva," he stressed.
Chizhov recalled that the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, which is expected to bring together members of 33 Syrian political forces, is to begin in Sochi soon. "The time has come for dialogue," he noted.