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FM: Confirmation of Geneva II dates - main result of Russia-US-UN consultations

December 21, 2013, 12:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The diplomats met in Geneva to discuss the preparation for the conference dubbed as Geneva II due on January 22, 2014

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MOSCOW, December 21, (ITAR-TASS). Confirmation of the dates for an international peace conference on Syria became the main result of another round of the consultations among diplomats from Russia, the United States and the UN, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The diplomats met in Geneva to discuss the preparation for the conference dubbed as Geneva II due on January 22, 2014.

“This fact reflects that the overwhelming majority of countries is aware that there is no alternative to political and diplomatic means in settling the Syrian crisis, what Russia has been insisting on from the very beginning,” the ministry said. “The consultations emphasized that the political process should contribute to consolidation of efforts of all Syrians in the war on terrorism.”

All participants in the consultations were unanimous in their opinion that the soonest possible start of the inter-Syrian talks under mutually agreed conditions and on the platform of the Geneva communique of June 30, 2012, would be targeted at stopping the bloodshed and violence in that country without delays.

“Delegates welcomed the information by UN-Arab League special envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi on the formation of the Syrian government’s delegation to Geneva II,” the ministry said.

At the consultations the Russian delegation placed a focus on importance of “finalising a representative composition of external delegates and inviting influential regional players to secure a lasting settlement in Syria and to fulfil future solutions of the conference.” “Russia and the United Nations believe that Iran should be added to this list,” the ministry said.

The Russian delegation also stressed inadmissibility of politicising humanitarian aspects of the Syrian crisis, in particular, through promotion of unilateral initiatives on the UN platform.

“The delegation emphasized that to revitalise a humanitarian situation it is necessary to do substantive work directly in that country, making relevant practical efforts both in the contacts with the government of the Syrian Arab Republic and with the opposition,” the ministry said.

The Russian delegation to the Geneva consultations was led by deputy foreign ministers, Mikhail Bogdanov and Gennady Gatilov. The United States was represented by Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Elizabeth Jones, and the United Nations - by Lakhdar Brahimi.

Representatives of other five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Syria’s neighbouring states, the League of Arab States and the European Union joined the consultations later.

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