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Russia: “Friends of Syria” to derail Geneva talks


Moscow has blamed the so-called ‘Friends of Syria’ group for attempting to revise the key elements of the Geneva communique of 2012 and influence the outcome of the Geneva 2 conference.

“We have to state that contrary to previously held understandings on how to resolve the crisis in Syria the final document issued after the meeting attempts to revise the key elements of the 30 June 2012 Geneva communique”, Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman said in a statement.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also asserted: “It is this document that has been recognized as the only platform to achieve a political settlement in Syria and has recently been approved by UN Security Council Resolution 2118”.

The spokesman states that prior to London’s Wednesday meeting of 11 foreign ministers of the so-called ‘Friends of Syria’ group, Russia was told that “the discussions there will be held exclusively on the basis of the Geneva communique”.

Moscow believes that the discussions violated the diplomatic effort and is seen as “an attempt to revise the communique according to the political needs [of the Syrian opposition]”, to create a “regime change” in Damascus.

Lukashevich also said that the London communique contained a “poorly hidden threat” of armed intervention in Syria.

Lukashevich added that during the London conference, participants yet again put all the blame for chemical weapons use in Syria on the Assad government thus contradicting the UNSC resolution 2118.

For its part, Russia is ready to help “settle the crisis in Syria on the basis of the Geneva Communique and the earlier reached understandings, including between Russia and the United States and through the participation of other permanent members of the Security Council and the UN Secretary General, in regard to steps needed to convene an international conference”.

“There is an impression the London document is aimed to provoke Damascus to undermine Geneva 2 by drawing attention away from opposition to Syrian authorities”, Lukashevich said.

Lukashevich concluded that the role the outside players should have is to persuade the conflicting Syrian parties to negotiate, but the final settlement should be reached without foreign pressure.

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