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PARIS, January 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov will discuss preparations for the Geneva-2 international conference on Syria here on Monday with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Lakhdar Brahimi, joint representative of the UN and the League of Arab States. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also intends to join the negotiators.
The sides will determine the last modality of the forum, which is to begin in the Swiss city of Montreux on January 22, although originally the meeting was to be convened back at the end of May 2013 within the framework of the accords reached by Lavrov and Kerry in Moscow. The format Syrian opposition’s delegation remains unclear up to now, just as Tehran's participation in the conference. The Syrian opposition is experiencing one split after another. Earlier, a number of US administration officials, including those from the State Department, said Iran would not be invited to Montreux.
"I understand that you are concerned primarily with the future of your native land. We are not indifferent to the fate of the Syrian people either," Lavrov said during a meeting with Jarba. No other details of the conversation are known so far.
Russian Foreign Ministry analysts pointed out earlier that the National Coalition "continues to provide its participation in the work of the international conference Geneva-2 with preliminary conditions, thereby seeking to predetermine its results".
'It was stressed (during the consultations) that a settlement of the Syrian crisis is exclusively on the politico-diplomatic plane. Attempts at achieving a military solution are not workable," a Foreign Ministry official said in comment on the results of Bogdanov's and Gatilov's conversation with Sherman.
"The Russian officials laid emphasis on the importance of combining the efforts of the Syrian government and the patriotically-minded opposition in the fight against terrorist groups the activities of which threaten both the future of the Syrian Arab Republic and regional stability," the Ministry official said.