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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Syrian Opposition May Be Ready for Dialogue - Moscow

RIA Novosti

15:21 24/08/2012 MOSCOW, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - The Syrian opposition has realized the need to find a way out of the dead end of military confrontation, raising hopes that the crisis in Syria can be resolved peacefully, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said in an interview with the Associated Press published on the ministry’s website.

Several days ago the National Co-ordination Committee (NCC) of Syria, an influential opposition group, proposed a four-point peace plan, he said.

“In fact their plan echoes the Geneva agreements regarding the immediate cessation of violence, release of political prisoners and the beginning of a political dialogue. All of these are fully consistent with the Geneva agreements,” Gatilov said.

“The opposition is beginning to realize the need to find a way out of the impasse of military confrontation. We fully support this opposition initiative. If sentiment in favor of a political settlement grows, and we are already feeling this in the statements of the opposition, with some degree of probability we can expect that we will be able to resolve this problem by peaceful means,” Gatilov added.

The NCC is an alliance of 13 left-leaning political parties, three Kurdish parties and independent activists, according to the BBC. It has supported dialogue with the regime conditional on the withdrawal of troops from Syria's streets and staunchly opposes foreign intervention.

Since March 2011, the Syrian conflict has claimed up to 20,000 lives, according to estimates by various Syrian opposition groups. The West is pushing for Assad’s ouster, while Russia and China are trying to prevent outside interference in Syria saying the Assad regime and the opposition are both to blame for the bloodshed.

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