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Foreign Ministry: no one can forbid Syrians to hold presidential elections

Moscow is interested in dynamic development of the Geneva settlement process on Syria, spokesman said

MOSCOW, May 15 /ITAR-TASS/. No one can forbid the Syrians to hold presidential elections, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday, May 15.

“No one can forbid the people to hold elections in their own country, especially the ones that are held the first time on a competitive basis and can determine the vectors of national development for the years to come,” he said. “Democracy is a word that stems from the right of the people to express their feelings and opinion.”

“Statements by Western politicians are clear in nature but they express their attitude towards what will be happening in Syria. But there are much more serious tasks on the agenda, which is to take the process of political settlement off the ground, and it is important for everyone to realise their responsibility at this point,” the spokesperson said.

“If the political process does not move, the fratricidal war will continue. There is a very disturbing tendency when extremist groups begin to oppose each other, which brings even more physical suffering upon the peaceful people. There are forms to achieve reconciliation which are still very nascent. One is what happened in Homs and Aleppo. This is the embryonic form of agreement, something for which mediators had been working towards the Geneva Communique so that the government and the opposition could find compromises,” Lukashevich said.

Moscow is interested in dynamic development of the Geneva settlement process on Syria, spokesman said. 

“The contribution of Lakhdar Brahimi was significant taking into account the complexity of the set task,” Lukashevich said. “I will stress that there can be no period put in this process, the Geneva settlement process should resume. We are interested in retaining the dynamics of the political process.”

Regarding candidacies for Brahimi’s post, Lukashevich said this is up to the UN secretary-general to decide. “Brahimi is still the special envoy on Syria,” he said.

Earlier it was reported that Brahimi will resign on May 31. The name of his successor is unknown yet.

Fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has left over 100,000 people dead and displaced millions since its start in 2011, according to UN statistics.

The first two rounds of 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, brought no particular progress in January and February. The parties to the Syrian conflict agreed to continue their discussions.