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Popular Front for Change and Liberation

A delegation from Syrias Popular Front for Change and Liberation opposition movement met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on 26 April 2012 in what Russia says is part of its efforts to overcome differences between the Middle East countrys multiple opposition groups and facilitate their dialogue with the government. Syrian National Council [SNC] member Bassam Al-Imadi and National Coordination Committee (NCC) spokesman Abdul Aziz al-Khayr said the Popular Front was in fact very close to the Syrian regime, despite calling themselves an opposition group.

Such contacts support the efforts of UN and Arab League envoy [Kofi] Annan, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told journalists in Moscow. It is difficult to say whether we will be able to unite the opposition, but we are using all opportunities to achieve this. In doing so, he said, Russia was trying to promote the idea that the Syrians alone should find ways to resolve the crisis that had gripped the country. Moscow had vetoed UN Security Council resolutions over what it called pro-rebel bias since the start of an uprising against the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011, but gave its full backing to Annans peace plan.

Qadri Jamil, the Popular Fronts leader, told RIA Novosti 26 April 2012 he believed Russia could play a major role in bringing together the opinions of various sides both of the regime and the opposition, as well as of various groups within the opposition, so that they could find common ground.

The Popular Front, along with the National Coordination Committee (NCC), whose delegation visited Moscow the previous week, represents Syrias internal opposition, as opposed to the Istanbul-based Syrian National Council (SNC). While the SNC had called for foreign military intervention in Syria, the two other groups have been strongly opposed to it, insisting that the conflict had to be resolved without any outside interference. When asked whether the Popular Front was ready to cooperate with other Syrian opposition groups, Jamil said his group had one condition for those willing to begin dialogue: they should agree that outside intervention is unacceptable. If the Syrian National Council accepts this, then we can talk to them but not before, he said.




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