Russia pressing for dialogue in Syria

2012-12-28 14:07
Syrian President Bashar Assad. (File, AP)

Syrian President Bashar Assad. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Moscow - Russia, one of the few remaining allies of President Bashar Assad, said on Friday it was pressing the Syrian leadership to put into action previous pledges for dialogue with the opposition.

"We actively encouraged... the Syrian leadership to maximally put into action its declared readiness for dialogue with the opposition," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters when asked about his meeting on Thursday with Syria's deputy foreign minister.

Lavrov said Russia also encouraged Assad's government "to underscore that they are open to discussing the widest range of items in line with the agreements reached in Geneva on June 30".

Russia's top diplomat warned on Thursday that time was running out for the parties to save an accord reached by global powers in Geneva that calls for the introduction of a transitional government but makes no explicit call on Assad to step down.

UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi pushed on Thursday for the plan after several days of talks with the leadership and opposition representatives in Damascus.

Lavrov said after his meeting with Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad that "the chances for such a solution... are diminishing".

Russia has refused to back international pressure on Assad to step down and Lavrov made clear on Friday that Moscow's position on this point had not changed.

Moscow to host Brahimi

"The international community must not incite either side toward violence or pose preliminary conditions," said Lavrov.

"With all due respect to the international community, it is, of course, the Syrian people who must decide" Assad's fate, Lavrov stressed.

Moscow on Saturday will host Brahimi in a new bid to save efforts at ending a 21-month conflict that is estimated to have claimed more than 45 000 lives.

A top Russia official had earlier on Friday said Moscow had also sent an invitation for talks to the head of the opposition National Coalition as it presses on with its diplomatic campaign.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told the RIA Novosti news agency the talks with National Coalition head Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib could take place in Moscow or at a foreign location such as Geneva or Cairo.

Lavrov told reporters that "as far as we understand, they [the National Coalition leaders] are not against this offer" for new talks.

The last Moscow meeting with representatives of the National Council in July ended in mutual recriminations and saw the opposition accuse Russia of inciting further violence by supporting Assad.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    un  |  bashar assad  |  lakhdar brahimi  |  syria  |  russia  |  uprisings  |  syria conflict
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Woodcock's career ended by injury
Major Payne as Ireland lose star centre
LIVE: Samoa 26 Scotland 29
Jones: Japan can be 'team of the tournament'
Traffic Alerts

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.