Ahead of Meeting Kerry, Lavrov: Syria Extremists Blocking Dialogue

27 Feb

Ahead of Meeting Kerry, Lavrov: Syria Extremists Blocking Dialogue

Local Editor

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday slammed “extremists within the Syrian opposition, who were blocking the start of dialogue by making unrealistic demands.”

Speaking hours before meeting new US Secretary of State John Kerry for the first time in Berlin, Lavrov said that recent faint hopes that dialogue was possible between the opposition and the regime of Bashar al-Assad had dissipated.

“Several days ago we thought that the conditions had become more clear for the sides to sit at the negotiating table and begin discussing the future of their country,” Lavrov told reporters after meeting with counterpart from the Netherlands Frans Timmermans.

“There emerged voices in favor of urgently starting such dialogue, without prerequisite conditions.”
However, he added, “these voices were later silenced.”
“Blood continues to be shed and statements are being made which move away the prospect of starting dialogue.”
“It seems that extremists who bet on an armed solution to the Syrian problem have prevailed in the ranks of the opposition at this time, including the so-called (Syrian) National Coalition, blocking all initiatives that could lead to the start of dialogue,” Lavrov stated.

In parallel, he mentioned that “other countries with leverage over the Syrian problem seem to increasingly understand the need to influence both the government and the opposition, to convince them not to put forward unrealistic demands as prerequisites for starting dialogue.”

Source: News Agencies, Edited by moqawama.org

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