Russian FM, UN envoy call for continuing efforts to find solution for Syria crisis

Moscow, SANA-Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on Wednesday to continue efforts to find a solution for the crisis in Syria in the framework of last week’s international talks on the Syrian crisis in Vienna.

During a meeting with UN Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura in Moscow, Lavrov said that format was almost a perfect format for multilateral efforts for a Syrian settlement.

He added that the mission of external players is to help in bringing together all the parties to the crisis to the negotiating table, stressing that Moscow seeks to enhance Vienna format and develop it.

In turn, de Mistura said that Moscow and UN agreed on the necessity of finding a solution for the crisis as soon as possible.

He also said that he would soon go to Washington to discuss a settlement in Syria.

In a joint press conference following the meeting, Lavrov that he hopes for identifying “the Syrian moderate opposition” as well as preparing a list of extremist groups that “will not be covered by a cease-fire that we hope to declare at some point”, adding that these two correlated processes are the basis for the next Vienna meeting.

Lavrov stressed the importance of unifying efforts to combat terrorism and launch dialogue between the Syrian government and opposition as well as offering humanitarian aid to alleviate the Syrians’ suffering, confirming that Syrians are the owners of their country’s political decision and no one can determine the fate of Syria.

The Russian Minister said that Moscow is supporting the efforts of Mr. de Mistura, hoping that other participants in Vienna talks will be equally committed to supporting Mr. de Mistura so that he and his team succeed in their mission.

Lavrov said that the issue of identifying the figures that will lead Syria is a Syrian affair and only Syrians will determine that.

For his part, De Mistura called on Middle Eastern and Western countries to “use their influence” on various opposition groups they back in Syria “so that these groups come to political talks with a constructive platform.”

“We need to continue working with all parts concerned with crisis of Syria and we have a joint plan based on Vienna format,” De Mistura said.
He also said the U.N. is ready to host talks between the Syrian government and opposition in Geneva, adding that political process between Syrian government and opposition must be held without preconditions.

He clarified that the representatives of Syrian government expressed their readiness to participate in a meeting with Syrian opposition and 4 contact groups will be formed in the framework of dialogue between both sides.

Last Friday, an expanded meeting was held in the Austrian capital Vienna that brought together the foreign ministers of nineteen countries, including Russia, the US, Iran, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Germany, France, Egypt, Italy, Britain, Iraq, and Lebanon, in addition to de Mistura and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.

The meeting concluded with emphasizing the necessity of combating terrorism and finding a political solution for the crisis in Syria which preserves its unity and secular nature.

Lavrov, Kerry discuss providing international support to resolve crisis in Syria

On a relevant note, Lavrov discussed in a phone call on Wednesday with US State Secretary John Kerry means to provide international support for Syrian sides in order to resolve the crisis in Syria on the basis of launching a national dialogue.

According to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the support in question includes supporting the formation of a joint delegation representing the Syrian opposition in order to launch dialogue and unify positions regarding fighting terrorism.

Manar al-Frieh/Manal / Hazem Sabbagh

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