Russia Denies Rumors of Planned Talks with Syrian Opposition
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.
Related news releases
- 24.07.2016Armed group refuses a mediator in the negotiations with the authorities in Yerevan
- 23.07.2016Armed group released 2 hostages in Yerevan
- 23.07.2016Lavrov: Rebuilding coop. with Turkey depends on Syria
- 23.07.2016Russian serviceman killed by self-detonating bomb in Syria
- 22.07.2016Kerry, Russian foreign minister to discuss Syria in coming days
- 22.07.2016Russian FM talks on US pre-conditions of co-op on Syria
- 21.07.2016Police disperse protesters in Yerevan - UPDATED
- 20.07.2016Putin, Erdogan to meet in early August - Kremlin
- 20.07.2016Car explosion kills prominent journalist Pavel Sheremet
- 20.07.2016Lefortovo court in a closed regime arrested the Deputy head of the own security service of the TFR
- 19.07.2016Situation tense near Yerevan police headquarters, 4 policemen injured - UPDATED - 1
- 18.07.2016Gunmen kill two policemen in Almaty
- 17.07.2016Shopping mall in Moscow evacuated amid bomb threat
- 15.07.2016Kerry’s delegation takes time-out in talks with Lavrov — Foreign Ministry
- 15.07.2016Lavrov, Kerry hold talks in Moscow
- 15.07.2016Central Asia, Caucasus Republics at risk of Syria-style crises – Shoigu
- 14.07.2016Russia offers to fly warplanes more safely over Baltics
- 13.07.2016Fatal traffic accident kills 7, injures 26 people in Dagestan
- 12.07.2016Belarus inflation rises to 7.4 pct in first half of 2016
- 11.07.2016Demographic situation in Armenia ‘critical’ – expert
- 11.07.2016Iran endorses visa-free regime with Armenia
- 10.07.2016Gorbachev: 'The next war will be the last'
- 08.07.2016NATO’s Russia concerns are ‘absurd’: Kremlin
- 07.07.2016Armored SUV owned by Saakashvili stolen in Kiev
- 07.07.2016Belarus wants normalization of relations with U.S.
- 04.07.2016EU special representative for South Caucasus to arrive in Armenia on July 5
- 02.07.2016Three Azerbaijani citizens killed, two others wounded in a traffic accident in Russia
- 01.07.2016Family of deceased Russian pilot not to accept compensation from Turkey
- 01.07.2016Russian, Turkish FMs hold meeting in Sochi - UPDATED
- 01.07.2016Lavrov hopes Russia-Turkey contacts to set right tone for normalization
- 01.07.2016Constructive dialogue within BSEC can contribute to fight against terrorism – secretary general
- 01.07.2016Russian military ends preparation for large-scale exercises in Armenia
- 01.07.2016Heavy rainfall cause flood killing 1, injuring 5 in Russia’s Rostov-on-Don
- 30.06.2016Russian president signs a decree on abolishing restrictions in respect with Turkey
- 30.06.2016Putin: Turkey apologizes to Russia
- 30.06.2016Russia to lift sanctions against Turkey ‘gradually’
- 30.06.2016Armenian parliament ratifies treaty on joint air defense system with Russia
- 30.06.201681% Russians support Putin
- 30.06.2016Six radical Islamists detained in Kazakhstan, one blows himself up
- 29.06.2016Putin extends counter sanctions
- 02.02.2013Armenian presidential elections could be postponed: candidate
- 02.02.2013Russian Foreign Minister Meets Syrian Opposition Leader
- 02.02.2013Moscow Seeks to Mend Ties with US
- 01.02.2013Armenian presidential candidate recovers after shooting
- 01.02.2013Saakashvili: 'We can not allow "armenizing" the foreign policy of Georgia”
- 01.02.2013ODIHR condemns assassination against Armenia’s presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikyan