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Russia FM: Results of meeting in London attempt to revise key elements of Geneva communiqué

October 23, 2013, 21:35 UTC+3

There are no reasons to say that the coalition is ‘the only legitimate representative’ not only of the Syrian people, but even the whole opposition - Russian diplomat

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MOSCOW, October 23 (Itar-Tass) - The London document of the so-called ‘core’ of the Group of Friends of Syria is an attempt “to exert pressure on Brahimi to anticipate the outcome of his diplomatic efforts,” spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Aleksander Lukashevich said on Wednesday.

“We cannot but pay attention to the fact that the London document was adopted during a Middle Eastern tour of U.N. and LAS Joint Special Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, who was to discuss the preparation to Geneva-2 with all parties concerned according to the Russian-U.S. initiative,” the diplomat noted. “The attempt to exert pressure on the special envoy and anticipate the outcome of his diplomatic efforts is obvious,” he added.

“Before the London meeting we were talked into the debates to hold exclusively on the basis of the Geneva communiqué,” he noted. “However, they got far beyond the framework of this document as well as the Russian-U.S. initiative of May 7, 2013, to convene an international conference on Syria. Meanwhile, the intentions to rewrite the Geneva communiqué for their own political needs concerned those provisions that do not suit the supporters of the so-called unappeasable Syrian opposition most of all,” he noted.

“The London document is contemplated as an attempt to predetermine the results of Geneva-2, which should be a matter for negotiations in absolutely another format - within political dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition to attain mutual accord between them about the future of their homeland,” Lukashevich stated.

“The London document sets as the main goal to change the incumbent authorities in Damascus, the National Coalition is defined as the only representative of the Syrian people, declares the threat to use ‘all variants’ to influence on the violators of the London decisions,” the diplomat said. “This is a badly hidden threat to get back again to the scenario of the use of military force that is absolutely unacceptable. In defiance of the provisions of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2118 groundless accusations are brought again against the Syrian authorities that they had used the chemical weapons,” the Russian diplomat said.

“All this is happening in the conditions, when our Western partners try hard to ensure the participation of opposition structures in an international conference proposed by Russia and the United States under ‘the umbrella’ of the National Coalition,” Lukashevich said. There is an impression that the London document pursues the goal to provoke Damascus to try to foil Geneva-2, shouldering responsibility from the opposition on the Syrian authorities,” the spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.

“We believe that the Syrian National Coalition should participate in the negotiating process, but we proceed from the assumption that the parameters of this participation should be proportionate to its influence in the Syrian society and its role not only abroad, but primarily in Syria. There are no reasons to say that the coalition is ‘the only legitimate representative’ not only of the Syrian people, but even the whole opposition,” the diplomat stated.

“All issues related with the Syrian resolution should be, as it is envisaged in the Geneva communiqué, approved by the U.N. Security Council, should be a matter of negotiations between the incumbent authorities and a broad representative opposition,” Lukashevich noted again. He pledged that Russia “is prepared to continue the targeted work to settle the crisis in Syria on the basis of the Geneva communiqué and the previously reached agreements, including between Russia and the United States and with the participation of other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and the U.N. general secretary regarding the steps to convene an international conference.”

“We will proceed from this supposition at scheduled preparatory meetings in Geneva on November 5-6,” the Russian diplomat said. Meanwhile, he noted that “the foreign players can only help bring the parties to the conflict to the negotiating table and settle organizing issues.”

“The problems of the essence of Syrian settlement may be overcome exclusively by the Syrians, through the search for mutual accord and without imposing any recipes from outside,” the spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

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