Bogdanov: Moscow’s position on Syria will not change

Tehran, SANA – The Russian President’s Special Envoy for the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov affirmed on Tuesday that Moscow’s position on Syria has not changed and will not change.

In a statement following his discussions with Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdullahian on Tuesday, Bogdanov said “Russia’s stance isn’t changeable according to circumstances, and we are committed to all agreements and statements, including the Geneva Communiqué issued in June 30, 2012.”

“Our position on Syria has not changed, and we see it necessary to hold dialogue between the government and the opposition at the negotiating table to determine the future of Syria in a way that would maintain the interests of everybody,” he added.

Bogdanov and Abdullahian discussed bilateral relations between their two countries and the means to resolve the crisis in Syria and combating terrorism.

Following the meeting, Bogdanov announced that a tripartite meeting between the assistant foreign ministers of Syria, Russia and Iran will be held in Tehran to discuss the latest developments in Syria, noting that he is in constant contact with Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad.

Bogdanov expressed Russia’s support for the endeavors of the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

He referred to the meetings he held with the Syrian officials and the opposition sides, noting that he discussed the Syrian issue during the meetings he held yesterday in the Qatari capital with some opposition figures and a number of regional and international players.

“My visit to Tehran aims at listening to Iran’s viewpoints and what should be done in this framework,” Bogdanov said.

Responding to a question about the meeting that took place in Doha between the Foreign Ministers of the US, Russia and Saudi Arabia and the decisions taken then, Bogdanov said the tripartite meeting was held to discuss the crisis in Syria, and “we are making a political action to come to holding meetings with officials from the US, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to help the Syrians.”

Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced in a statement that Bogdanov and Abdullahian called for forming “a wide counter-terrorism front” to confront the mounting threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization.

“While referring to the aspects of solving the crisis in Syria through peaceful means, the two sides expressed deep concern over the mounting danger of ISIS, calling for forming a wide counter-terrorism front,” the statement added.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated in Doha his country’s support for the Syrian government and people and called for an immediate stop of foreign interference in Syria’s internal affairs.

Manar al-Frieh/Haifa Said/Mazen

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