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Fighting terrorists in Syria impossible without coordination with Damascus — diplomat

December 02, 2014, 16:07 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman confirmed that preparations are underway for a meeting in Moscow between Syria’s government and the opposition, but refused to tell the exact date for the event
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© EPA/SEDAT SUNA

MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. International coalition will not succeed in the effort to struggle against the Islamic State in Syria if there is no coordination with Damascus, Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Tuesday.

“In any case, there is no hope here of gaining victory over the terrorists without a broad coordination with the Syrian government,” Lukashevich said.

“Terrorists are strengthening their rule on a part of Syria’s territory, and the international coalition has not solved the problems in Kobani,” he said, also mentioning the air strike against the Islamic State in Ar-Raqqah.

“Without independent sources of information, it is difficult to define who suffers the most — the Islamic State or the civilian population,” he added.

The diplomat stressed that Moscow considers that its goal is to continue providing assistance to Damascus in the fight against terrorism and supporting the efforts aimed at resolving the Syrian crisis by political means based on the June 2012 Geneva Statement, “through a broad dialogue without foreign dictation and preconditions.”

Lukashevich confirmed that preparations are underway for a meeting in Moscow between Syria’s government and the opposition, but refused to announce the exact date for the event.

“If you follow the statements made by the opposition leaders, then you see that they still have completely different approaches,” Lukashevich said, adding that the opposition forces have not rejected the idea of a Moscow meeting.

“Another case is how the opposition side will be represented and it is a question to them. This participation should not be limited to the participation of the National coalition as there are many other forces who are also interested in the dialogue on the ways of normalizing the situation,” he said.

The fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has killed over 190,000 people and displaced millions since its start in 2011, according to data released by the United Nations in August.

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