Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at the meeting with members of the Group monitoring the implementation of decisions following inter-Syrian consultations on the “Moscow site,” Moscow, August 31, 2015

1623-31-08-2015

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We are glad to welcome representatives of the Syrian opposition to Moscow again. This is not our first meeting. Visits of delegations of various Syrian opposition groups to Russia have become a tradition, and this is not an ordinary process but a joint effort aimed at solving the vital problem of stopping the bloodshed in Syria and restoring peace and stability in the country.

I would like to reiterate that Russia firmly supports Syria’s sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity and strongly believes in the Syrian people’s ability to determine their own fate and resolve the difficult problems facing their homeland. This principle is definitely fixed in the Moscow Platform, which was approved at the second meeting on the “Moscow site” in April this year with the participation of various Syrian opposition groups and the Syrian Government’s delegation. In that document, we, jointly with our colleagues, firmly spoke in favour of invigorating the anti-terrorist struggle so as to enable Syria to fend off the threat of militant extremism. You have also confirmed your commitment to starting real nationwide dialogue in Syria with the aim of resolving all political problems on the basis of a common agreement between the opposition and the Syrian Government, as stipulated by the Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012. We fully support your position and, to implement your approach, President Vladimir Putin has launched an initiative regarding the need for progress on parallel tracks, that is, a surge in coordinated action in the struggle against terrorist threats, while simultaneously starting a political dialogue based on the Geneva Communique.

One of the immensely important prerequisites of progress along this path is uniting the wide spectrum of the Syrian opposition on the constructive platform of dialogue with the Syrian Government on all key problems facing the country.

We value today’s opportunity to exchange opinions on the current developments in Syria and around it in the context of these key tasks related to the settlement and termination of the terrorist threat. We will be glad to hear your estimates.

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