No change in Russia’s stance: Syrian opposition
A UN diplomat says Russia has circulated a draft resolution to the UN Security Council that would extend the UN observer force in Syria.
Moscow: After holding talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, new president of the Syrian National Council Abdelbaset Sieda on Wednesday said that he saw no change in Moscow`s stance toward Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
A delegation of Syrian opposition figures met with Lavrov with the aim of pushing Russia to accept Assad`s ouster as part of a political transition in Syria.
Ahead of his talks with Lavrov, Sieda had said he would make all efforts to convince Russia to stop backing Bashar al-Assad`s government.
"The events in Syria are not disagreements between the opposition and the government but a revolution," he said. "It is similar to what happened in Russia when it finished with the previous regime and set upon the path of democratic development."
In the meantime, Lavrov underlined that he wanted to re-clarify Russia`s position.
"Sometimes your organisation has questions about what we are doing and we want to clear up these questions so there are no doubts."
Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said his side sought to push the opposition "towards realistic and constructive positions that can help end the bloodshed".
New draft resolution on Syria
A UN diplomat says Russia has circulated a draft resolution to the UN Security Council that would extend the UN observer force in Syria but focus its activities on trying to achieve a political solution to the conflict.
The mandate for the 300-strong monitoring mission expires on July 20.
The council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak publicly, said on Tuesday evening that the Russian draft incorporates recommendations from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to redeploy the mission from the field to the capital and focus on promoting a political dialogue.
But the diplomat said the Russian draft needs to be combined with pressure on the parties to end the violence and a more comprehensive approach to address the complex Syrian situation.
(With Agency inputs)