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Delegation of Syria’s internal opposition to hold talks in Moscow

April 16, 2013, 6:17 UTC+3

Monday, the delegation had a meeting at the Russian Foreign Ministry and it is not ruled out that they will be received by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

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MOSCOW, April 16 (Itar-Tass) - A delegation of Syria’s internal opposition is expected to hold talks in Moscow Tuesday.

“Representatives of the Popular Front for Change and Liberation - Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil and State Minister for National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar - plan to discuss the ways of peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis at meetings with Russian officials,” a source in Damascus told Itar-Tass.

Monday, the delegation had a meeting at the Russian Foreign Ministry and it is not ruled out that they will be received by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The government in Damascus and the patriotically minded internal opposition has more than once come up with peaceful initiatives and nominated candidates for launching an all-nation dialogue. Opponents of the legitimate state power, most of them irreconcilables, would either make references to a need for conditions, in which the consultations might start, or else would say bluntly there could be no discussions so far as Bashar Assad continued keeping the reins of state power in his hands.

An approach of this kind runs counter to the guideline document on settling the crisis, the Geneva Communique, which does not envision any preconditions for the opening of talks.

Sergei Lavrov said upon the results of a ministerial conference of the G8 in London April 11 that “the Americans and all others, including the G8 member-states, realize that the bolstering of the quo status and the protracting of the current situation might play straight into the extremists hands, including the groupings like Jabhat al-Nusra that are closely affiliated with Al Qaida.”

“This in turn is fraught with the aftermaths totally unpredictable for the territorial integrity of Syria as a state when many religious denominations and ethnic groups live together, as well as with risks for the entire region,” Lavrov said.

Far from all the active players are prepared to recognize the detriments of a scenario of this type. For instance, a new document on Syria that is being drafted inside the UN General Assembly apportions all blame for developments in the much-suffering land of Syria to the government.

Moscow has already said it will not support the document, “since its authors are seeking to rally the General Assembly’s approval of their one-sided plans as regards Syria,” Lavrov said. “They are guided by only one goal, and that’s to supplant the regime. Along with this, they totally ignore the regional and political consequences of a scenario like that one.”

The same destructive line can be seen quite clearly on the regional floors, too. The transfer of Syria’s seat in the Arab League to the irreconcilable opposition voids the mandate of the UN and Arab League’s special envoy, Lahdar Brahimi of any meaning.

The menu has only to options now - either the ruinous maintenance of the quo status, which implies ever more new innocent victims or a scrupulous observance of all the provisions of the Geneva Communique by external players involved in the Syrian crisis.

Russia has long made its choice and now the ball is in the partners’ end of the pitch.

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