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Medvedev has ‘moderately optimistic’ expectations for Geneva II

January 23, 2014, 0:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, January 22, 23:53 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he had “moderately optimistic” expectations for the Geneva II international conference on Syria.

“I have moderately optimistic expectations for this forum. I will tell you frankly that I have been watching developments in Syria very closely and I started doing this when I was president,” Medvedev told CNN.

He recalled that during his presidency in 2011 he had stressed that “there should be no forcible scenario in Syria.”

Medvedev said the revocation of the U.N. invitation to Iran to attend Geneva II was unacceptable.

“What happened with the revocation of the invitation to Iran I think is absolutely unacceptable. Does someone really think that the Syrian problem can be seriously discussed without taking into account the Iranian factor?” the prime minister said.

“When the international community or the United Nations Organisation sends an invitation at first and then revokes it, this is inconsistent and does not help achieve results,” he said.

In his opinion, “all interested countries” should be engaged in the settlement process.

He stressed that the situation in Syria was an internal problem of that country. “It’s not a problem of the Russian Federation or of the United States or of Iran or of Saudi Arabia and not even completely of the Arab world even though it concerns the situation in the Middle East,” Medvedev said.

He criticised a simplified look at the Syrian issue. “It looks like a conflict between a totalitarian regime, a tough regime that is associated with President Assad, on one hand, and certain civil forces that are in conflict with him,” Medvedev cited an example of such simplified approach. “But that’s not so. And you and we understand that,” he added.

Syria is a complex and multi-confessional country, and “if the balance that was built there for decades is broken, we will get a society where everyone fights everyone,” he said.

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