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Russia: Lavrov says international community must end 'game' in Syria01:13

Russia: Lavrov says international community must end 'game' in Syria

Russian Federation, Moscow
June 7, 2013 at 14:26 GMT +00:00 · Published

Russia: Lavrov says international community must end 'game' in Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks with Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in Moscow on Friday. The Syrian Civil War dominated the agenda in the discussion held at the Russian Foreign Ministry. In the course of the meeting Ihsanoglu affirmed his support for an upcoming Geneva 2 conference aiming to bring the Syrian government and the armed opposition to the negotiating table.

In a joint press conference following the talks Lavrov stressed the urgency in reaching a consensus on how to solve the Syrian conflict. Lavrov said: "I've repeatedly said that we should all decide whether we want to support political settlement - and then we should urgently make everyone sit down and negotiate - or we want to support regime change."

Lavrov condemned the call to arm the Syrian insurgency, saying military parity between forces would lead to an endless cycle of violence: "We are concerned over the statements coming from leaders of the so-called Free Syrian Army, as well as from some US officials. These people are saying that support for armed opposition will continue to restore the military balance on the ground. This will lead us to a dead end and perpetuate the vicious circle of violence."

Lavrov urged the international community to prioritise the interests of Syria's civilians, to avoid entanglement in a 'geopolitical game'. "So we do hope that our partners, who have spoken in favor of the Russia-US initiative, take it as a top priority guideline. There should be no geopolitical game. We should all be thinking of the future of the people of Syria and its neighbours, who are suffering as well," he said.

Ihsanoglu arrived in Russia from Turkey on Thursday, June 6 for a three day visit. During the visit he plans for the Geneva 2 Conference, hedged to take place in July were laid down. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government agreed to take part in neogitations, while the opposition said it's participation was conditional on a withdrawal of Hizbullah and Iranian fighters from Syria.

Russia: Lavrov says international community must end 'game' in Syria01:13
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Russia: Lavrov says international community must end 'game' in Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks with Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in Moscow on Friday. The Syrian Civil War dominated the agenda in the discussion held at the Russian Foreign Ministry. In the course of the meeting Ihsanoglu affirmed his support for an upcoming Geneva 2 conference aiming to bring the Syrian government and the armed opposition to the negotiating table.

In a joint press conference following the talks Lavrov stressed the urgency in reaching a consensus on how to solve the Syrian conflict. Lavrov said: "I've repeatedly said that we should all decide whether we want to support political settlement - and then we should urgently make everyone sit down and negotiate - or we want to support regime change."

Lavrov condemned the call to arm the Syrian insurgency, saying military parity between forces would lead to an endless cycle of violence: "We are concerned over the statements coming from leaders of the so-called Free Syrian Army, as well as from some US officials. These people are saying that support for armed opposition will continue to restore the military balance on the ground. This will lead us to a dead end and perpetuate the vicious circle of violence."

Lavrov urged the international community to prioritise the interests of Syria's civilians, to avoid entanglement in a 'geopolitical game'. "So we do hope that our partners, who have spoken in favor of the Russia-US initiative, take it as a top priority guideline. There should be no geopolitical game. We should all be thinking of the future of the people of Syria and its neighbours, who are suffering as well," he said.

Ihsanoglu arrived in Russia from Turkey on Thursday, June 6 for a three day visit. During the visit he plans for the Geneva 2 Conference, hedged to take place in July were laid down. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government agreed to take part in neogitations, while the opposition said it's participation was conditional on a withdrawal of Hizbullah and Iranian fighters from Syria.

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