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Lavrov urges Syrian conflict parties to leave geopolitical calculus aside

October 04, 1:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"Today, all actors must abandon their geopolitical ambitions and fully contribute to reestablishing the stability and security in Syria, the Middle East and Northern Africa as a whole," he said

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MOSCOW, October 4. /TASS/. All the parties to the Syrian conflict should leave their geopolitical calculus aside and ensure the return of peace to Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday in an interview with the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al Awsat when a reporter asked him what, in Moscow’s opinion, was lying at the core of solution to the Syrian crisis.

"Today, all actors must abandon their geopolitical ambitions and fully contribute to reestablishing the stability and security in Syria, the Middle East and Northern Africa as a whole," he said.

Lavrov noted main items of the agenda that, according to him, looked are as follows: reconstruction of the infrastructure destroyed during the conflict and the unilateral economic sanctions imposed by a number of States on Syria, promotion of its social, economic and political development."

He recalled that the League of Arab States as well as many regional and international players had, for a variety of reasons, denied the legitimacy of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"By doing so, they practically usurped the right of the Syrian people to decide who will govern Syria and in what form," Lavrov said.

He stressed once again Moscow’s strong objections to this approach.

"On various forums, we have always supported independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and stated that the fate and future of Syria must be determined by the Syrian people themselves in a strictly legal manner through a national dialogue," Lavrov said.

"In the context of the internal political conflict, extremism in Syria has reached extreme forms. The whole world shuddered from inhumane actions of ISIS and other terrorist entities," he said. "Threats emanating from the terrorists entrenched in Syria have spread beyond the country and the whole Middle East and North Africa region."

On this background, Russia considers the International Meetings on Syria in Astana "to be an important step towards settling the Syrian conflict," Lavrov said.

"In the framework of the Astana process with the participation of the delegation of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic as well as the representatives of armed opposition groups, the parties agreed upon that there is no alternative to political and diplomatic settlement under the UN auspices and expressed their commitment to maintain the ceasefire," he said.

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