BEIRUT, October 16. / TASS /. The Syrian government is ready to immediately proceed with the political settlement of the conflict and enter into negotiations with the "worthy" national opposition, Syria’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad said as quoted by the SANA news agency.
"We are ready to immediately sit down at the negotiating table with the worthy national opposition, but not with the opposition connected with external forces," the agency quotes him as saying. "We are prepared to take part in the work of four groups to seek ways out of the conflict set up at the initiative of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura."
Faisal Mikdad also pointed to Russia’s role in launching the inter-Syrian consultation, adding that it was important to hold a new round of talks, Moscow-3.
"The forces fighting on the side of terrorists in Syria continue to place their stakes on the military solution [to the crisis], but the Syrian leadership is ready for a political settlement, and negotiations on it should be conducted in parallel with rebuffing terrorism," he said. "We hope that all honest Syrians will join the fight against terrorism along with the Syrian army."
He added that "Syria would under no circumstances renounce its sovereignty and independence."
According to Mikdad, Russia’s successes in combating terrorism in Syria have dispelled a myth of the role of the U.S.-led coalition. "The Washington-led coalition only says it is fighting against terrorism, but in reality it does not do anything," he said. "This coalition is used as a tool of US policy in the region and aims to destroy Syria and prolong the war."
He added that the support of Russia and Iran had enhanced Syria’s counterterrorism capabilities.