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Syria govt delegation in Moscow to discuss preps for Geneva-2, elimination of chem wpns

November 18, 2013, 7:19 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia suggests convening an informal preparatory meeting of representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition in Moscow

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MOSCOW, November 18, 6:44 /ITAR-TASS/. Preparation for a Geneva-2 conference, and the process of eliinating Syrian chemical weapons are to be discussed here on Monday by a delegation of the Syrian government.

It is expected that Faisal Mekdad, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic (SAR), and Busein Shaaban, presidential political adviser, will be received by high-level Russian diplomats, specifically by Mikhail Bogdanov, Special Representative of the RF President for the Middle East and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

An informed source at the Russian Foreign Ministry said the delegation members in Moscow "will hold detailed consultations in preparation for a Geneva-2 international conference. The consent of Damascus to attend Geneva talks has long been received, and without any preconditions. The opponents of the Syrian regime have not given consent to sit down at the negotiating table so far.

In all the dissonance of opposition forces it is so far impossible to discern any clear-cut and understandable voice, a sound one and ready for a real dialogue. The West refers to Syrian opposition leaders who reside abroad as the only legitimate representatives of the Syrian people. All this only protracts the negotiating process.

Preferring real actions, Russia suggests convening an informal preparatory meeting of representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition in Moscow. "I do not know to what extent such a meeting will be successful but we are deeply convinced that this is a chance that must not be missed," RF Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Meanwhile, the positions of extremists among the armed oppositionists are continuously growing stronger. In the process, many leaders of the militants do not conceal their goals: to bring a Sharia-based khaliphate in the country. The They do not refer to the rights and freedoms that are cusyomary in the Western society.

At the same time, everyday fighting has btought the counyry to a humanitarisn disaster. Russia suppplied medicines and dressings to Syria. The appropriate instruction was given to the Russian Health Ministry by Russian leader Vladimir Putin after the November14 telephone conversation with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Implementation by Damascus of the plan for the elimination of chemical weapons is yet another important aspect of the upcoming talks in Moscow. The international community recognized Syria's active work on the issue: equipment for the production of precursors has been already eliminated. The main remaining question is which country will agree to receive Syrian chemical freight.

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