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Lavrov: Opposition Coalition Doesn’t Want Dialogue, Seeks Foreign Intervention

MOSCOW, (SANA)- Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said that ‘Doha Coalition’ does not want dialogue and launching a political process to resolve the crisis in Syria but it seeks foreign intervention in Syria.

Lavrov said in a press conference in Moscow that the Doha Coalition’s call for President Bashar al-Assad’s departure as a precondition to take part in the international conference on Syria scheduled to be held in Geneva are ” impracticable and aim to hinder the conference and pave the way for military intervention in Syria.”

“No one has the right to throw threats and ultimatums around,” Lavrov told the press conference following talks with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez.

“This coalition doesn’t have any positive program and it is busy with sharing positions, especially the position of the presidency,” he said, adding that “the only thing they are united about is the demand for President Bashar al-Assad’s immediate stepping down.”

“But everyone including our Western partners understands that this condition is unrealistic,” Lavrov said.

He went on saying that the opposition coalition and its regional sponsors are doing everything to hinder the start of a political process by any means, including “being dishonest with the public opinion in the West to bring military intervention in Syria.”

The Russian Official described the opposition coalition’s approach as “unacceptable”, adding that “regardless of what they said or did, we believe that the opposition coalition is not the one and only representative of the Syrian people as they try to depict.”

He stressed that there are “other serious forces inside Syria” that are ready to participate in an international conference on Syria without preconditions, adding that those forces have presented a constructive base in the framework of contributing to the talks for implementing the agreements reached in the Geneva communiqué issued last June 30th.

He also indicated other “main opposition groups who have taken positions that are not in line with the hostile stances nor with the national stances,” referring particularly to the opposition National Coordination Body.

“The leaders of those opposition groups did not leave to any foreign country…and probably they are entitled no less than others to represent those who seek reform in Syria today and those who are ready to participate in this national dialogue,” said Lavrov.

Gatilov: Russia to Take Part with High-Level Delegation in Meeting on International Syria Conference

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that Russia will take part with a high-level delegation in Geneva meeting due next week to discuss preparations for the international conference on Syria.

RT website said that Gatilov had not ruled out that the UN envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi might take part in the meeting.

Russian Foreign Ministry: Russia, US and UN Representatives to Meet on June 5 to Discuss Preparations for Int’l Syria Conference

A source at the Russian Foreign Ministry said that representatives of Russia, US and UN will meet on June 5 in Geneva to discuss the preparations for the international conference on Syria ‘Geneva 2’.

RT website quoted the source as saying that it is likely that the UN Under-Secretary-General, Jeffrey Feltman will be president of the UN delegation.

The US Department of State spokeswoman, Jen Psaki announced earlier that the US and Russia will hold talks on Syria next week in Geneva, indicating that the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Elizabeth Jones will be representing the USA.

A Russian diplomatic source said that Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov will represent Russia in the Russian-US talks.

The Russian source mentioned that ”the agreement on holding talks came during the latest contacts between the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his US counterpart, John Kerry.”

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich stressed that the U.S. statements on the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone on Syria raise doubts about the U.S. intentions for political solution to the crisis, expressing Moscow’s hope that the U.S. respects its agreement with Russia on Geneva 2 Conference.

Lukashevich added that Russia intends to cooperate with the U.S. in the Syrian track for a political solution based on Geneva Communiqué.

Russian Defense Minister: Russia Might Reconsider Commitments on Sending Arms Shipments to Syria

Russia’s Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu said that Russia is disappointed over the EU decision to lift the arms embargo on sending weapons to the Syrian opposition, indicating that Russia might reconsider its commitments on the restrictions imposed on sending arms shipments to this war-torn country.

Novosti News Agency quoted Shoigu as saying during a joint press conference with his Finnish counterpart in Finland’s capital, Helsinki that ”If one party decides to lift the restrictions, the other party might deem himself free of earlier commitments.”


SANA – 30/5/2013

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