"It is encouraging that there have been positive developments in the Syrian crisis. At least we all now agree that politico-diplomatic settlement through common national dialogue on the basis of the UN Security Council resolution has not alternatives," Lavrov said.
Opening an opening session with Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) ministers, Lavrov reiterated Moscow's view that Monday's intra-Syrian talks in Astana are "an important contribution to formulate parameters for a comprehensive political settlement in Syria which will continue in wider activities in Geneva in early February."
Following the ceasefire in Syria endorsed by the UN Security Council on December 31, the Syrian government and opposition factions are expected to meet in Astana on January 23 for talks brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran. They are aimed at establishing a platform for peace negotiations between the conflicting sides to the Syrian crisis.
The talks in Astana will be followed by a UN-mediated meeting in Geneva on February 8.
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