Published 22-01-2014, 15:43
Overall, Moscow is content with the first day of peace talks in Montreux, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Indeed, it is the first time in three years of Syrian conflict that both sides of Syrian crisis came together at negotiating table. The majority of players at the conference believe that Iran should be involved in negotiating process, said Lavrov after the first day of talks.
Russian Foreign Minister also added that he hasn’t yet heard an exhaustive explanation concerning the non-participation of Iran from his UN colleagues.
According to Lavrov, Geneva-2 format can be readily expanded.
"From all I heard from my colleagues, there is a great need to bring in new players into negotiation process and act in accord with Geneva communique," said the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Montreux.
Moscow is gratified by the fact of Geneva-2 participants’ growing appreciation of Russian stand on Syria peace deal which is based on the preservation of Syrian identity and a deep respect of the fundamental principles of international law, Lavrov stated.
According to the minister, it would be a significant signal to the world community if in the early stages of negotiation process the parties can work together toward the creation of "multi-confessional and simultaneously secular Syria”.
Indeed, this will provide a basis for a comprehensive settlement of Syrian conflict.
"We have supported and continue to support all the groups that work inside Syria, including the National Coordination Committee, the National Front for the Liberation, and Kurdish organizations”, Lavrov stated.
The first round of direct talks between the Syrian government and opposition delegations at the Geneva-2 international conference on Syria will last for about a week, then the negotiating process will resume after a break, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.
"The talks will begin on Friday, January 24, in Geneva. They will last for about a week," he said to journalists after the first day of Geneva-2.
"It will be the first round which will apparently be followed a short break but another round will follow. At least everyone spoke of that, including UN representatives who will coordinate the direct Syrian talks," Lavrov said.
"We hope that all external players will encourage Syrians to reach an accord, to refrain - and to prevent the sides - from attempts to predetermine final agreements, from other steps capable of disrupting the negotiating process," he said at the opening of the Geneva-2 international conference on Syria.
Russia stands for involving Iran in the implementation of the Geneva communique and opposes attempts to interpret that document.
"It is necessary to engage Iran in the common efforts towards the fulfillment of the Geneva communique devoid of attempts to interpret it either way," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said .
"The essence of this document is that issues related to the future of Syria must be resolved by the consent of the government and the opposition," he said.
The humanitarian aid for Syria should not be a pretext for undermining the political dialogue, Lavrov said.
"Obviously, the humanitarian aid, just like the other aspects of the situation in Syria, must not become a subject of speculation and be used for putting forward artificial demands and undermining the political dialogue," Lavrov said at the Geneva-2 conference opening.
"I'd like to express my gratitude to the parties that convened for Geneva-2. Our common task is to end the suffering in Syria," Russian FM added.
"We are convinced that the transformation is going to be effective if it is purely political, without the use of force. I call upon all the players to abide the international law. There can be no solution found through the use of force, dialogue is the only way," Sergei Lavrov said.
UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Wednesday that he will meet both Syrian delegations separately on Thursday, a day ahead of their first negotiations when he will try to bring them into the same room.
Brahimi, speaking to a news conference after all-day ministerial talks in the Swiss resort of Montreux, first said it was not clear whether he would be able to bring two sides into the same room at the United Nations in Geneva on Friday.
"We will try to see if we meet Friday morning separately and hopefully by Friday afternoon both sides will sit in one room," he said later.
Describing the challenge ahead, Brahimi said: "We have no illusion that it is going to be easy but we are going to try very hard."