Lavrov: US, Russia Agree That Syrian Opposition Should Be Represented by Various Groups
Updated 10:32 a.m. Moscow Time
BEIJING, November 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and the United States have discussed the political situation in Syria and the US side has agreed with Russia's thesis that at the talks with the country's government, Syrian opposition should be represented by a group, formed of various coalitions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday following his meeting with the US Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Beijing.
'We have also discussed the need for renewing the political process of talks between Syrian government and opposition. The [US] Secretary of State has agreed with our old thesis that the Syrian opposition should be represented by various groups, and not only by the national coalitions comprised of people who left Syria long time ago and haven't visited it for a long time, there also are forces of inner opposition, I mean the political forces,' Sergei Lavrov told journalists, adding that the opposition should be representative.
'We have also discussed the steps that Russia, US and the region's states could undertake to support the efforts on creating such a national dialogue between all the Syrians, just the way it was stipulated by the notorious Geneva Communique of 30 June 2012,' the Minister added.
Peaceful protests began in Syria in March 2011 and quickly descended into all-out fighting between government forces, rebels and jihadists, some of them linked to al-Qaeda. The ongoing civil war has already claimed more than 200,000 lives and forced as many as 3 million people to flee their homes.
At the second round of Syrian peace talks concluded in Geneva on February 15 the sides failed to reach any specific agreements. The opposition continued accusing the Syrian government of prolonging the negotiations.
Late in October, UN and Arab League special representative for Syria Staffan de Mistura stated that there were no plans on holding another international conference on Syria in the near future.
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