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BRICS leaders to discuss Syria, Iran, Mideast at March 26–27 summit

March 25, 2013, 17:27 UTC+3
President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to have several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit, including with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi
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MOSCOW, March 25 (Itar-Tass) – The leaders of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) will discuss the situation in Syria, Iran and the Middle East at their summit in Durban on March 26-27, presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said on Monday, March 25.

“The BRICS leaders intend to discuss pressing international issues, including the Syrian crisis, the situation around Iran, and the Middle East settlement,” he said. “The five leaders invariably reiterate their commitment to the fundamental principles of international law, facilitate the strengthening of the U.N. central role, call for political and diplomatic settlement of conflicts, and reject the policy of armed pressure and infringement upon the sovereignty of other states,” Ushakov said.

He also said that President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to have several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit, including with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. “I think the situation in Syria will be one of the key topics at the meeting and during conversations with other leaders,” the diplomat added.

Speaking of Syria, Ushakov said the resignation of Sheikh Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, the head of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, signifies a split within the Syrian opposition.

“Although the National Coalition has not endorsed this decision, it provides another evidence of serious disagreements within the Syrian opposition, primarily between the forces that call for a political settlement and radicals who advocate ideas of armed struggle,” Ushakov said.

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