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Moscow expresses cautious optimism over dialogue in Syria - Gatilov

February 19, 2013, 16:17 UTC+3
“Our position in this issue has been and remains consistent” he said
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MOSCOW, February 19 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told a news conference on Tuesday that it is possible to speak with cautious optimism about progress as concerns the beginning of the dialogue between Syria’s government and opposition.

“The dialogue is the main thing Russia has called for,” he said. “Our position in this issue has been and remains consistent.”

“We believe that to stop violence and bloodshed in Syria that continues at a large scale from both sides, it is necessary to bring both sides together – the government and the opposition – to the negotiating table,” Gatilov said. “We’ve always targeted our efforts at this and this is in fact the main goal of the Geneva communique.”

Moscow had always called for “starting to implement what had been fixed in the document,” the diplomat said. “Unfortunately, until now these efforts failed for a whole range of reasons. “We failed to bring representatives of the opposition and the government to the negotiating table.”

“Of late we can say with cautious optimism that in this issue, we would like to hope, breakthroughs are possible. We can hope that representatives of the government and opposition will finally find an opportunity to sit at the negotiating table. This is not an easy thing to do, it will require efforts of all interested parties,” Gatilov said.

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