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.
- 26/01/2015 Putin accuses Kiev of serving NATO interests
- 26/01/2015 Putin calls Ukrainian Army 'NATO Legion'
- 26/01/2015 Ukrainian govt declares state of emergency in Donetsk, Luhansk
- 26/01/2015 First Deputy Chief of Armenia's Police: Theory that Permyakov had not acted alone is also considered
- 26/01/2015 EU’s foreign ministers and OSCE Permanent Council to discuss situation in Ukraine
- 24/01/2015 Ukrainian Defence Ministry makes public statistics of Donbass battle on January 17-22
- 24/01/2015 Adviser to President of Ukraine informs about latest fight in Donetsk airport and releases photos - PHOTOSESSION
- 24/01/2015 10 civilians killed in Grad shelling of Ukraine’s Mariupol
- 24/01/2015 Russia threatens to suspend contacts with PACE
- 24/01/2015 Pro-Russian rebels reject peace deal, launch new offensive
- 24/01/2015 Putin blames Ukraine's 'criminal orders' for new fighting
- 24/01/2015 Fighting in east Ukraine leaves thousands without power
- 24/01/2015 Moldova to form minority coalition government
- 23/01/2015 Dozens killed in eastern Ukraine as fighting rages
- 23/01/2015 Putin: Authorities giving criminal orders are to blame for deaths of people in Donbas
- 23/01/2015 Yerevan residents to organize protest march to demand Russian serviceman’s transfer to Armenia
- 22/01/2015 Russian deputies to visit Armenia’s Gyumri
- 22/01/2015 Ukraine again declines Russia’s federalization call
- 22/01/2015 Mortar shell strikes tram stop in Donetsk leaving 13 dead
- 22/01/2015 Kiev warns Russia of losing Ukrainian gas market
- 21/01/2015 Russia hits back at Obama over State of Union speech
- 21/01/2015 Poroshenko: Another 2,000 Russian troops enter Ukraine
- 21/01/2015 Lavrov: Russia ready to cooperate with NATO in case of equal dialogue between partners
- 21/01/2015 Sergei Lavrov: We see attempts to politicize Gyumri incident
- 21/01/2015 Lavrov calls for direct dialogue between Kiev and Donbas
- 21/01/2015 US unable to solve any problem alone – Russian FM
- 21/01/2015 Moody’s downgrades 8 Russian non-financial corporates
- 20/01/2015 6 killed in Kazakh light plane crash
- 20/01/2015 Adviser to Ukraine's Interior Minister: “300 separatists have been killed in a week in the east of Ukraine”
- 20/01/2015 Russia, Iran sign military cooperation deal
- 20/01/2015 Reason inciting Russian serviceman to murder seven members of one family in Gyumry disclosed
- 20/01/2015 14 killed, over 100 wounded in fighting in east Ukraine
- 19/01/2015 6-month-old baby wounded by Russian soldier in Gyumri dies
- 19/01/2015 Ukrainian Interior Ministry initiates criminal case against Donetsk People’s Republic leaders
- 19/01/2015 Russian Investigative Committee chairman to visit Yerevan
- 18/01/2015 Russia mine explosion kills 2, injures several: Officials
- 17/01/2015 $151 billion fled Russia in 2014
- 16/01/2015 Serzh Sargsyan refused Erdogan’s invitation
- 16/01/2015 Fake dollars thrown onto National Bank Chief in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada
- 16/01/2015 Poroshenko announces troops regrouping in Donbas