BEIRUT, August 26. /TASS/. Damascus supports Russia’s efforts to organize intra-Syrian dialogue and believes it conducts "a policy based on firm principles", Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with Lebanese TV station Al Manar.
"We feel a great confidence in Russians, they have proven for many decades that they are sincere friends," Assad said. "Russia does not support this or that figure or president, it has clear principles. It speaks in support of the state sovereignty and respects the people’s decision."
He said Damascus "approves and encourages Russia’s efforts to arrange dialogue with the opposition." "Russians do not impose anything on us. An agreement may only emerge when we Syrians ourselves sit down to the negotiating table with one another," the president said.
He did not rule out that intra-Syrian meetings currently taking place in Moscow will lead to a conference to be entitled "Geneva-3", which could be successful.
"All depends on the international atmosphere," Assad said.
According to UN statistics, fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced millions since its start in 2011.
An international peace conference on Syria, dubbed Geneva-2, organized by Russia and the United States and designed to negotiate a solution to the Syrian crisis, held in January and February 2014, brought no particular progress.