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Kremlin chief of staff: Geneva II critical to Syrian settlement

September 21, 2013, 20:17 UTC+3
Sergei Ivanov noted the American administration’s increased efforts to draw members of the “reasonable Syrian opposition” to the conference
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Photo EPA/TOLGA BOZOGLU

Photo EPA/TOLGA BOZOGLU

STOCKHOLM, September 21 (Itar-Tass) - Russian presidential chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said the Syrian crisis could not be resolved without a peace conference commonly known as Geneva II.

“It can’t be done without Geneva II,” Ivanov told journalists in Stockholm on Saturday, September 21.

He noted the American administration’s increased efforts to draw members of the “reasonable Syrian opposition” to the conference.

“The word ‘opposition’ is a very relative term when we speak about Syria. It is a motley crew. Just yesterday different opposition groups fought each other. All are fighting against all in Syria now,” Ivanov said.

However, he believes that a “reasonable” opposition can and should be talked to.

He believes that the terrorists fighting in Syria need no talks. “Why should they? Strikes are better. Because they will make it easier for them to storm Damascus,” the Kremlin official said.

When asked whether Russia’s position had played a key role in preventing the use of force against Syria, Ivanov said, “I cannot be so definitive about this.”

He recalled that the statement on Syria at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg had been adopted by the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries. “And what is BRICS? It’s two-thirds of the world’s population,” he added.

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