Thursday, February 28, 2013
LAVROV: EXTREMISTS DOMINATE THE SYRIAN “OPPOSITION”
Posted on February 26, 2013 by Libya 360°
Lavrov Calls on Oppostion to hold dialogue with Government.. Extremists Dominate Syrian Opposition
Lukashevich Expresses Regret Over Syrian Opposition’s Rejection of Possibility for Settling Crisis
Feb 26, 2013
MOSCOW, (SANA)- Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said the extremists have prevailed within the Syrian opposition ranks and are blocking an initiatives that could lead to dialogue.
“Several days ago we thought that the conditions had become more clear for the sides to sit at the negotiating table…There emerged voices in favor of urgently starting such dialogue, without prerequisite conditions…However these voices were later silenced,” Lavrov told reporters after meeting in Moscow with his Dutch counterpart Frans Timmermans.
“It seems that extremists…have prevailed in the ranks of the opposition at this time, including the so-called National Coalition, blocking all initiatives that could lead to the start of dialogue,” Lavrov was quoted as saying by Russia Today website.
“We don’t give up,” he added, “We, of course, can’t solve the problem on behalf of the Syrians, but we feel in our contacts with the other countries which could more or less practice influence on the Syrian sides increasing concern over the continued situation.”
Other countries of the international community seem to “increasingly understand the need to influence both the government and the opposition, to convince them not to put forward unrealistic demands as prerequisites for starting dialogue,” Lavrov said.
He pointed out that this issue will be discussed during his meeting with the US Secretary of State John Kerry due in Berlin today.
Lavrov Meets Kerry in Berlin, Calls on Opostion to Hold dialogue with Government
Lavrov today met his US counterpart John Kerry in Berlin to discuss the crisis in Syria, bilateral relations and other important international issues.
“The meeting, which is the first between Lavrov and Kerry, was a new destination in the Russian, US relations, though it didn’t make any considerable breakthrough,” Russia Today Website said.
It added that both sides discussed the crisis in Syria and bilateral relations.
The Russian Foreign Minister called on the Syrian opposition to hold dialogue with the government and nominate its representatives.
“We hope the Syrian opposition would express support for dialogue as it issued conflicting statements in this regard, we hope the opposition would not only support dialogue, but also nominate its team for negotiations,” the Russian Today TV site quoted the Russian Minister as telling reporters following the meeting.
He added, during the latest visit of Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem to Moscow, the Syrian government announced its readiness to start dialogue as soon as possible and that it has a team for negotiations.
Lavrov affirmed that Russia and the US intend to exert all possible efforts to pave the way for launching the dialogue between the opposition and the Syrian government.
“The most important thing is that we underlined our understanding on not accepting the continuation of violence.. based on this fact, we affirmed determination to do our best,” Lavrov said.
He clarified that the problems of the Syrians would not be solved except by the Syrians themselves, but it is important to sit to the dialogue table.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich expressed his country’s regret over some Syrian opposition figures’ rejection of the possibility for settling the crisis in Syria.
Lukashevich said on his Twitter account that it is regrettable that some opposition figures rejected halting bloodshed in Syria.
He pointed out that talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem focused on searching for a political solution in Syria through dialogue between the government and the opposition.
On a relevant note, Lukashevich reiterated on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website his country’s regret over the opposition’s rejection of holding contact with the government without preconditions.
He said that such contact would have led to resolving a whole lot of issues and set the stage for restoring stability and security and Syria, stressing that Russia will continue its efforts to help Syrians.
Lukashevich called on the opposition forces to pay heed to what as announced in Moscow, where Minister al-Moallem said that Damascus is prepared to hold dialogue with everyone who wants to do so.
H. Said / F. L. / H. Sabbagh/ Mazen