Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:1AM
Syria has sent a government delegation to Moscow to find ways to end the violence in the country. It comes at a time when Moscow has condemned calls by the US to impose a no-fly zone over Syria. Damascus says it needs Russian support more than ever before.
A Syrian delegation, headed by the Deputy Prime Minister, together with the national reconciliation minister, has arrived in Moscow. This is the second visit by the Syrian government this month. During the last visit, the Syrian delegation has asked Russia for financial help. Syria is feeling the pinch from economic sanctions and seventeen months of internal conflict. Russia agreed to provide monetary aid and oil deals to Syria. The delegation will meet with the foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, on Tuesday next week. Moscow has put forward some ideas towards reconciliation, including a transitional government and setting a date to cease fire and start talking. Moscow has long been calling for a dialogue between the government and the opposition in Syria. Moscow insists that only the Syrians themselves can solve their internal unrest without any foreign interference. Moscow is willing to help Syria reach a truce and get back on the reconciliation path. Both Russia and Syria are hoping that the appointment of the new UN and the Arab League special envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, will strengthen reconciliation efforts. Moscow has urged him to stick with the 6 point peace plan, Geneva agreements and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The Syrian government believes that Moscow can prepare the atmosphere for a political process. And it's hoping Moscow can influence countries that are providing weapons and ammunition, as well as media and political support to the armed groups, to stop the damaging role they're playing.