Lavrov: Current situation is convenient to take practical steps to resolve crisis in Syria

Moscow, SANA – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov affirmed on Sunday that the current situation is much more convenient to take practical steps to resolve the crisis in Syria, pointing out that work is underway to prepare for a round of talks in Geneva on the 20th of this month under UN auspices.

In an interview with the NTV Russian Channel, Lavrov said that posing preconditions by the “opposition” may led to postponing this round of talks which will seriously harm the reputation of the UN.

He called on the UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura to assume his responsibilities related to the formation of an “opposition” delegation to participate in Geneva talks, saying the fluctuating positions of the “opposition groups”, especially those abroad should not be taken into account.

He pointed out that the date of February 20th to resume Syrian dialogue in Geneva is still valid, hoping that the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and de Mistura take their responsibilities in this regard.

Lavrov said that Russia is preparing for new contacts between the Syrian government and the “armed groups” in the Kazakh capital of Astana this week.

“The US was present as an observer at the first Syrian meeting in Kazakhstan’s capital,” he said, adding “they have an invitation from us to send their representative for participation in further contacts, as soon as they form up their Middle East Syrian team.”

He noting that Jordan has assisted in “joining to the process of the armed groups, which are in the so-called Southern Front, and on which Jordan has influence, as they are working right across the border with Syria.”

M. al-Frieh/H. Said

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