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Assad`s exit not precondition for dialogue: Moscow

Last Updated: Monday, January 14, 2013 - 18:36

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.


First Published: Monday, January 14, 2013 - 18:36

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