Topic: Protests in Syria
- Syrian Opposition In For Dialog - Russian FM
- Syrian Foreign Ministry Ready for Reconciliation Talks in Syria
- Syrian Opposition Denies Leader's Plan to Visit Moscow
- Syrian Foreign Minister, Opposition Leader to Visit Moscow ‘Soon’
- UN Peace Envoy Discusses Syrian Opposition’s Offer for Talks
- Russian Foreign Minister Meets Syrian Opposition Leader
MOSCOW, February 21 (RIA Novosti) – Syrian opposition leader Moaz al-Khatib may visit Russia in early March, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.
“We are currently discussing the date of al-Khatib’s visit, due approximately in early March,” Lavrov said.
Speaking after the Russian-Arab cooperation forum, the minister said that Russia has also been preparing for a visit by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, due in late February.
Lavrov said that Russia and the Arab Leage will seek to establish direct contacts between the Syrian opposition and Bashar al-Assad’s government.
“Today we’ve agreed to make use of Arab League potential to assist a soonest direct contact between the government and the Syrian opposition,” he said.
The Russian Foreign Minister said that so far both sides have been putting forward preconditions for talks.
“We are working to begin this dialog, and its up to the sides to discuss when and where it will be held. We will agree for any location” Lavrov said, adding that Moscow was ready to host the negotiations.
Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby urged the sides to launch a transitional period as soon as possible.
“Launching a transitional period and forming a transitional government is of utmost importance. This isn’t easy, but we’ve agreed that this is the goal we must attain,” he said.
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This war would most probably not be precipitated not by direct actions of the Russian or Ukrainian governments. The more likely cause is the clash of rival armed volunteer groups on the streets of eastern Ukraine, which would lead to the progressive involvement of armed forces on either side.