Russia eyes regular contacts with Syrian opposition coalition

Russia eyes regular contacts with Syrian opposition coalition
# 03 February 2013 00:51 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Moscow wants regular contacts with the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Kremlin has expressed interest in regular contacts and "will be pursuing them," Lavrov told Interfax news agency aboard the flight back to Moscow from Munich, where the minister had attended an international security conference.

His comments came after meeting with Syrian coalition leader Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib, who, in his words, "requested for the conversation."

"We talked, and I felt Khatib was interested in having a better understanding of our position," Lavrov said.

The diplomat mentioned a recent statement by Khatib that the coalition was willing to hold talks with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad on certain conditions.

"We hailed this," said Lavrov. "It was a very important move, especially in view of the fact that the coalition was created on a platform that involved categorical rejection of any dialogue with the regime."

"Realism has taken the upper hand" in the coalition, said the minister.

Lavrov also admitted that though a dialogue was not guaranteed as the opposition did not have a team of negotiators, and there were different opinion-holding groups within the coalition, "still, their thoughts are going in the right direction."

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