Syrian opposition cannot be represented as single coalition at Geneva conference - Lavrov

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Syrian opposition cannot be represented as single coalition at Geneva conference - Lavrov
Published 18-06-2013, 08:30
Far from all Syrian opposition representatives intend to take part in the Geneva-2 conference under the umbrella of the Syrian National Coalition which doesn't even have a clear program, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.

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"On the one hand, certain forces are trying to present the matter so that only representatives of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces can sit on the opposite side to the government delegation [at the negotiating table]," he said in an interview with the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

The text of the interview was posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry website on Tuesday.

"However, the majority of the internal opposition does not share its approaches. They would want to attend the conference independently of the National Coalition. The National Coordination Committee and the Kurdish Supreme Committee of Syria have addressed us with a request to offer assistance with such participation," the minster said.

Besides, the National Coalition "is putting forward preliminary conditions with which it is hardly reasonable to enter talks aimed at finding general Syrian consensus," Lavrov said.

"Meanwhile, the National Coalition does not have a clear political program. It is hard to regard their slogan of overturning the regime in this capacity. The emphasis on restoring military balance with the government army on the ground actually justifies further bloodshed," Lavrov said.

The opposition forces disagreeing with the National Coalition understand that perfectly and don't want it to speak on their behalf, he said.

"The renunciation of any preliminary conditions by the Syrian sides is a key prerequisite of the convocation and even more so of the success of an international conference on the political settlement in Syria on which we agreed with American partners in Moscow on May 7," the minister noted.

He said that Moscow has done its part of the job as a result of which the Syrian government gave its consent to participation in the conference and formed a negotiating team led by Vice Premier, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.

Speaking of the other participants in Geneva-2 Lavrov said they should include permanent members of the UN Security Council, Syria's neighbors in the person of Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, representatives of the European Union, the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Council, a special envoy for Syria and the Arab League troika which today comprises Qatar, Egypt and Iraq.

"In the interests of the full involvement of interested influential sides we believe in the necessity of the presence of delegations from Iran and Saudi Arabia. We continue contacts on the matter. On June 5 Geneva hosted the first round of trilateral consultations involving high-level representatives of Russia, the United States and the UN. The second round is slated for June 25," he said.


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