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Lavrov confirms Geneva conference to be held January 22, 2014

November 25, 2013, 16:48 UTC+3 ROME
Russia's Foreign Minister: it could be done much earlier if the opposition took responsibility for the whole country
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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuyev

ROME, November 25, 16:27 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed that the Geneva II Peace Conference on Syria would take place on January 22, 2014.

Speaking at a conference in Rome, Lavrov said, “An hour ago there was no date for the conference. Now I can confirm that the Geneva conference will be held on January 22, 2014.”

“The date was put forth by the U.N. Secretary-General. But it could be done much earlier if the opposition took responsibility for the whole country and if it did not talk about preconditions when we gathered in September, October, November...,” the Russian minister said.

“Any time preconditions were put forth: or Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should disappear or military advantage should be restored. This is not the care of the country, but this is political egoism,” Lavrov said, adding “The parties should sit to talk and agree.

Earlier, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has thanked Russia and the United States for the efforts to organise the Geneva II Peace Conference.

The U.N. secretary-general expresses deep gratitude to the governments of Russia and the United States, and other countries, as well as to U.N./LAS Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi for the intensive work, the United Nations Organisations said in a press release on Monday.

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