Assad`s exit not precondition for dialogue: Moscow
Moscow: Russia believes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad`s exit cannot be a precondition for a deal to resolve the country`s crisis, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"Our partners are convinced that Assad`s exit is essential as a precondition. This is a precondition, which is not mentioned in the Geneva Communique and cannot be fulfilled, because this does not depend on anyone," Lavrov said during a three-party meeting with international Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and US diplomats.
"President Assad announced initiatives to invite all opposition members for a dialogue. Yes, probably, these initiatives are not far-reaching, someone may think they are not serious enough. But this is a proposal," Lavrov said.
Recently, Assad proposed a plan to resolve the crisis which includes a national reconciliation conference, the formation of a new government and an amnesty.
The Syrian opposition has rejected the peace initiative, calling it "empty rhetoric".
The Russian foreign minister called on Syria`s opposition to announce their ideas on "how to enter a dialogue".
Syria has been engulfed in a civil war between opposition forces and government troops since March 2011. According to UN estimates, over 60,000 people have been killed.
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