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Opposition confab in Paris impedes intra-Syrian dialogue: Russia

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) shows the way to his Vietnamese counterpart, Pham Binh Minh, during a meeting in Moscow on November 24, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Russia has criticized an upcoming meeting of countries supporting Syria’s opposition, saying that such events hinder the implementation of the UN resolutions that call for intra-Syrian negotiations.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the remarks in a joint press conference with his Vietnamese counterpart, Pham Binh Minh, in Moscow on Thursday.

Lavrov further said holding such a conference in Paris will prevent initiating a comprehensive Syrian-Syrian dialogue with the participation of the Damascus government and opposition groups.

On Wednesday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced that a meeting of countries opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, including the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, will take place in Paris in the coming days.

He further accused the Western countries of supporting Syria’s opposition by all possible means while bringing false and baseless charges against the Syrian government in attempts that would hinder the implementation of the motions approved by the Syrian Support Group and the UN Security Council.

The top Russian diplomat also urged France to observe the resolutions and avoid means of the “comprehensive war against the Syrian government or the attempts to isolate it,” warning that it is not in the interest of France to face all these challenges.

Additionally, he expressed Moscow’s readiness to support any initiative that seeks “an agreement … accepted by all parties” in Syria.

Since March 2011, Syria has been hit by deadly foreign-sponsored militancy, with the situation remaining tense in Aleppo as the city is divided between government forces in the west and foreign-backed terrorists in the east.

Backed by Russia’s air cover, the Syrian army forces and their allies have managed to deal heavy blows to the terrorist groups over the past few months.

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