BEIRUT, November 23. /TASS/. Russia will do its best to promote intra-Syrian dialogue, ILyas Umakharov, a deputy speaker of the Russian Federation Council upper parliament house, told TASS on Sunday.
“It is the most pragmatic way for the Syrian s to reach accord,” he said, adding that this subject had been raised at the talks a Russian parliament delegation had had in Damascus on Saturday.
“At a meeting with us, Syrian President Bashar Assad said the government was ready for a dialogue in the name of the interests of the Syrian people,” he said. “We felt his confidence in his words and his commitment to begin a peaceful post-war development of the country as soon as possible.”
The Russian delegation paid a visit to Syria “as part of the programme of contacts with the Syrian leaders and was beyond the frames of an exchange of opinions between lawmakers,” he noted, adding that such trips “make it possible not only to maintain the temperature in bilateral relations but also to coordinate efforts.”
Over the past three years, according to the Russian lawmaker, the Federation Council had sent four delegations to Syria. Apart from that, a mission of Russian observers monitored the presidential elections in June 2014. “In Moscow, we have received 12 Syrian friends. These were official delegations at various levels, public figures, religious leaders, including the supreme mufti and the patriarch of Antioch,” he said.
“The system of contacts that was built in the recent years has acquired a balanced character. We are received in Damascus as old friends,” Umakharov noted. “At a meeting with Bashar Assad, we were pleased to enroll his support to joint initiatives geared to promote bilateral partnership. We spoke about attracting Russian regions, North Caucasian republics to cooperation. The Syrian side is raising the issue of establishing air service and transport communication with Russia.”
But, Umakhanov stressed, peace was needed to implement these projects. “Of course, military technical cooperation and humanitarian assistance are most topical for Syria now,” he added.