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Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:24AM
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (file photo)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (file photo)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has condemned “extremists” in Syria opposition who blocked the start of dialogue to end months-long conflict in the Arab country. Lavrov said on Tuesday that hopes to establish dialogue between the opposition and the government of President Bashar al-Assad had dissipated as the opposition continued to make unrealistic demands. "Several days ago we thought that the conditions had become more clear for the sides to sit at the negotiating table and begin discussing the future of their country," the Russian minister said before meeting US Secretary of State John Kerry in the German capital, Berlin. "There emerged voices in favor of urgently starting such dialogue, without prerequisite conditions,” he also said. Lavrov stressed that the “prospect of starting dialogue” later faded away as the voices were silenced. "It seems that extremists who bet on an armed solution to the Syrian problem have prevailed in the ranks of the opposition at this time, including the so-called (Syrian) National Coalition, blocking all initiatives that could lead to the start of dialogue," he added. Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of Army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence. The Syrian government has said that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and that a very large number of the militants operating in the country are foreign nationals. Several international human rights organizations have accused foreign-sponsored militants of committing war crimes. SAB/HN
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