Baku-APA. The Russian Foreign Ministry denied on Friday reports claiming that a four-party meeting between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, senior US and UN officials and a Syrian opposition leader is being set up on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, APA reports.
Western media earlier reported that Lavrov would meet on Saturday with US Vice President Joseph Biden, UN/Arab League special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and the leader of the national Syrian opposition coalition Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib to discuss the escalating Syrian crisis.
“Speculations in the media about a Munich meeting between Lavrov, Biden, Brahimi and al-Khatib are false,” Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said in his Twitter blog.
"As of today, there is no such meeting mentioned in the program of the Russian foreign minister," he said.
According to official statements by Moscow and Washington, Lavrov is planning to discuss the situation in Syria during separate meetings with Biden and Brahimi, while Biden is also scheduled for a “face-to-face” meeting with al-Khatib.
Lavrov reiterated on January 23 that Russia's priority in the Syrian crisis remains the fastest possible end to the bloodshed in the country and stabilization of the situation there, and not keeping President Bashar al-Assad in power or overthrowing him.
He also criticized the Syrian opposition and said nothing positive would come from its continuing dedication to an armed struggle.
Syria has been locked in an increasingly bloody civil war since demonstrations broke out against president Assad in March 2011. According to UN estimates, at least 60,000 people have been killed in the 22-month-old conflict and more than 700,000 have been forced to flee Syria.
The National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (SNCROF) was formed on November 11 in Doha, Qatar, and proclaimed itself the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Its legitimacy has since been recognized by Western powers but questioned by Moscow.
Moaz al-Khatib rejected in December an invitation from Russia to discuss a peaceful resolution of the Syrian crysis. In an interview with Al Jazeera television he said he wanted an apology from Moscow for its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Russia has faced strong international criticism over its refusal to back UN sanctions against Syria, its last ally in the Arab world, over what it calls the pro-rebel bias of some resolutions proposed by Western nations.
- 29/03/2015 Putin letter to Arab summit triggers strong Saudi attack
- 29/03/2015 Over 85 percent of voters cast ballots in Uzbek presidential election
- 28/03/2015 Soyuz spacecraft with Russian, US astronauts docks at ISS
- 28/03/2015 Official: 1,500 North Caucasus people fight in Iraq, Syria
- 27/03/2015 The media reported the arrest of the FSB Deputy Governor of the Chelyabinsk region
- 27/03/2015 Visa-free agreement with Russia to come into force soon
- 27/03/2015 Kremlin seriously concerned over situation in Yemen — Putin’s spokesman
- 26/03/2015 Latvia’s non-citizens ask Russian parliament for help
- 26/03/2015 4 killed, 20 injured after bus hits landmine in Ukraine
- 26/03/2015 Kiev ready to withdraw tanks from line of contact in Donbas — Poroshenko
- 26/03/2015 Parents of deceased Armenian soldiers stage protest outside Presidential Administration of Armenia
- 26/03/2015 Moscow says U.S. security strategy "anti-Russia"
- 25/03/2015 First batch of armored Humvees from the U.S. arrived to Ukraine - PHOTOSESSION
- 25/03/2015 Poroshenko dismisses Dnepropetrovsk Governor Kolomoyskyi
- 24/03/2015 Moscow calls on US to stop financial and trade blockade of Cuba — Lavrov
- 23/03/2015 Kremlin urges France, Germany to push Ukraine more on peace deal
- 23/03/2015 Death toll in eastern Ukraine crosses 6,000 - UN
- 23/03/2015 Party of Regions releases information about death of former Ukrainian President Yanukovych’s son
- 23/03/2015 Another Armenian soldier dies of "unknown cause"
- 20/03/2015 Sanctions over Ukraine crisis linked to Minsk deal implementation: EU
- 20/03/2015 Netanyahu poised for governing coalition after final vote tally
- 19/03/2015 Moscow invites US to attend WWII Victory Day Parade
- 19/03/2015 Peskov: Date of Putin’s visit to Armenia being specified
- 19/03/2015 UK troops start training mission in Ukraine
- 19/03/2015 Armenian president makes anti-Russian statement
- 19/03/2015 Putin signs treaty integrating South Ossetia into Russia
- 18/03/2015 Russia may consider gas discount for Ukraine
- 18/03/2015 Ukraine to build fortifications along contact line with rebels
- 18/03/2015 Russia, South Ossetia sign treaty on alliance
- 18/03/2015 Russian FM: Transnistrian conflict cannot be settled with ultimatums
- 17/03/2015 U.S. vows to keep sanctions over Russian annexation of Crimea
- 17/03/2015 Fighting rages near Donetsk airport despite Ukraine ceasefire
- 16/03/2015 Lavrov: If conflict sides interested, Moscow ready to discuss sending peacekeeping mission to Donbass
- 16/03/2015 Putin comments on rumors of poor health
- 14/03/2015 Death toll rises to 19 in Russia fire
- 14/03/2015 Ukrainian doctors get meeting with Savchenko - lawyer
- 14/03/2015 Secretary general: NATO does not plan to interfere in east Ukraine conflict
- 13/03/2015 Russia rejects U.S. concerns over Vietnam base role in bomber flights
- 13/03/2015 IMF sends 1st tranche of $5 bln to Ukraine – Central Bank
- 13/03/2015 Ukraine requests UN Peacekeeping Mission