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MOSCOW, January 12 (Itar-Tass) – Russia has reaffirmed its support for Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi.
A trilateral meeting on Syrian settlement took place in Geneva on Friday, January 11, and involved Brahimi, Russian president’s special representative for the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns.
“Russia responded positively to the initiative to continue consultations in this format, being guided by its commitment to the goal of political settlement in the Syrian Arab Republic through practical implementation by all parties of the Geneva communique approved at the ministerial meeting of the Action Group for Syria in June 30, 2012,” the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday, January 12.
“We believe that this consensus-based document remains fully relevant as the only platform for overcoming the drawn-out crisis in the SAR. A priority task is to stop all violence and bloodshed immediately and provide humanitarian aid to Syrian, including internally displaced persons and refugees,” the ministry said.
In parallel to that, “it is necessary to launch a political transitional process in Syria aimed at formalising legislatively guaranteed and equal rights for all ethnic and religious groups in that country”, the ministry said.
Russia, as before, “is firmly adherent to the thesis that the future of Syria should be decided by the Syrians themselves, without external interference or imposition of ready recipes for development, taking guidance in the fundamental principles of international law and the U.N. Charter”, the ministry stressed.
“In this context, Russia expressed invariable support for the Brahimi mission as the U.N./LAS special envoy for Syria,” the ministry said.
Following the meeting, Brahimi renewed his call for a “speedy end” to the bloodshed and destruction in the Middle Eastern country, where tens of thousands of people have died in almost two years of violence.
“We are all very, very deeply aware of the immense suffering of the Syrian people which has gone for far too long and we all stressed the need for a speedy end to the bloodshed, to the destruction, and all forms of violence in Syria,” Brahimi said in Geneva.
“In our view, there is no military solution for this conflict,” Brahimi said, adding that both Bogdanov and Burns had agreed during their talks on the necessity to reach a political solution based on the so-called Geneva communique of June 30, 2012, which, among other items, calls for the establishment of a transitional governing body made up by members of the present Government and the opposition and other groups, as part of agreed principles and guidelines for a Syrian-led political transition.
“As you know a key element of that communique is the governing body which should exercise full executive powers during its existence, and we agree that full executive powers means all the powers of the State,” Brahimi said.
“There is an absolute necessity for people to continue to work for a peaceful solution,” he said, adding that “it is the wider international community, but especially the members of the Security Council that can really create the opening that is necessary to start effectively solving the problem.”
Brahimi said he would continue to engage with all Syrian parties, as well as other stakeholders in the region and internationally.
The Joint Special Representative is scheduled to brief the Security Council later this month on his consultations with the Syrian Government and representatives of the opposition. The 15-member body has so far been unable to reach agreement on a course of action in relation to the conflict in Syria.