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.
- 28/07/2014 UN says over 1,100 killed, nearly 3,500 wounded in Ukraine since mid-April
- 28/07/2014 Russian FM says US, EU sanctions not to achieve their goal
- 28/07/2014 Lavrov: Crimea is part of Russia, there weren’t any talks with anybody about this matter, there are no talks and there can be no talks
- 28/07/2014 Ukraine's Defense Ministry admits 40 soldiers crossing over to Russia - Reports
- 27/07/2014 Ukraine preparing to retake Donet
- 25/07/2014 Ukrainian troops enter Lysychansk
- 25/07/2014 Deputy Prime Minister Groysman Picked as Acting Ukrainian PM - Minister Avakov
- 24/07/2014 Arseniy Yatsenyuk resigns from post of Ukrainian prime minister
- 24/07/2014 Ukraine says Azerbaijanis also among separatists
- 24/07/2014 Ukraine rebel commander acknowledges fighters had BUK missile
- 24/07/2014 Ukraine crisis puts Britain's Cameron on spot over Russian donations
- 23/07/2014 Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory
- 23/07/2014 Kiev to introduce sanctions against Russian officials, companies — Yatsenyuk
- 23/07/2014 Tel Aviv-bound Russian Transaero plane U-turns, goes back to Moscow
- 22/07/2014 EU Council not approve new sanctions on Russia — EU foreign policy chief
- 22/07/2014 Putin: “We will adequately and coherently respond to the approach of NATO to our borders”
- 22/07/2014 Verkhovna Rada approves Poroshenko's partial mobilization decree
- 22/07/2014 Rebels release train with bodies from downed jet
- 22/07/2014 Ukraine rebels hand black boxes from downed plane to Malaysia experts
- 21/07/2014 Ukrainian troops take control of three settlements in Donetsk region
- 20/07/2014 Ukraine, rebels argue over wreck; Europeans give Putin 'last chance'
- 20/07/2014 Tajikistan, Turkmenistan to sign deal on cross-border railway
- 20/07/2014 250 civilian persons killed in Lugansk Region of Ukraine since beginning of summer - OSCE
- 19/07/2014 Ukraine says Russia helping destroy crash evidence
- 19/07/2014 One should not tell Russia what to do; it is necessary to sit down to talks – Lavrov
- 19/07/2014 Neither Buk nor other weaponry crossed Russian border into Ukraine - spokesman
- 18/07/2014 World leaders demand answers after airliner downed over Ukraine with 298 dead
- 18/07/2014 Boeing-777 shot down by separatists in east Ukraine – US intelligence
- 18/07/2014 Malaysia Airlines MH17 victims identified
- 18/07/2014 Armenian Karabakh war veteran sentenced to six years in jail
- 18/07/2014 121 people found dead at Malaysian airliner crash site - Ukraine emergencies service - PHOTOSESSION
- 18/07/2014 Crash claims top AIDS researchers heading to Melbourne
- 18/07/2014 Ukraine responsible for investigation into Malaysian jet crash - IAC
- 18/07/2014 Malaysia to work with Russia, Ukraine governments on MH17
- 18/07/2014 Aeroflot cancels several flights to Ukrainian cities
- 18/07/2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 US citizens and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
- 17/07/2014 Rosaviatsia: Ukraine closed airspace in east to commercial flights 3 days ago
- 17/07/2014 Ukraine says rebels shoot down Malaysian airliner, 295 dead
- 17/07/2014 Both sides in Ukraine deny shooting down plane
- 17/07/2014 Moscow court sentences main sponsor of separatist regime in Nagorno Karabakh Levon Ayrapetyan to two months imprisonment - PHOTO