13 August 201517:55

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's opening remarks at the talks with Head of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces Khalid Hodja, Moscow, August 13, 2015

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Ladies and gentlemen,

We are pleased to welcome your delegation to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We have for a long time been inviting representatives of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces to hold a dialogue in order to think together about ways of helping the Syrian people. We are glad that this meeting has taken place. We are meeting at a time when the region is being exposed to growing threats, primarily the terrorist threat.

 Naturally, the persistence of different conflicts, above all, the deep crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic, requires our primary attention. All of us are interested in blocking terrorism and finding an early political settlement to the crisis in Syria on the basis of the June 30, 2012 Geneva Communique. Now the main goal is to channel these interests into coordinated practical efforts. I hope our meeting will help us move forward on this road.

We are in touch with all political forces of Syria: the Syrian Government and all opposition groups, both inside and outside the country. We are working with all external players, including the region’s countries, the United States and our European partners. I am convinced that we will reach progress in settling the Syrian issue via inter-Syrian dialogue on the basis of the aforementioned Communique, and will achieve success in countering terrorism if we focus on what unites all of us.

 We are sincerely interested in helping all Syrians unite for the sake of the main task of preserving their country, ensuring its stability and preventing it from turning into a breeding ground for terrorism. Your assessment of the situation will be very important for us. It will help us gain a full picture and move forward with our partners.





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