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    A Syrian national flag waves as vehicles move slowly on a bridge during rush hour, in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016

    Lavrov: Moscow to Back Syrian Federalization If State Structure Agreed Upon

    © AP Photo / Hassan Ammar
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    Moscow will support federalization in Syria, if the citizens of the Arab country themselves agree on a new state structure, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia has repeatedly stated that Syria's territorial integrity was a critically important issue for the majority of states taking part in the process to settle the Syrian crisis.

    "Our stance is simple: we will support anything the Syrians agree upon, and this is also the stance of the [UN] Security Council. But when we are asked the question 'Would you support the federalization?' we say that if they [Syrians] agree on it, we will support everything that will be concerted," the Russian top diplomat said.

    As for the issue of Kurdish autonomy in Syria, Russia will also back the move, if all the sides in the Arab country agree on it, Lavrov added.

    "[The Syrians] should themselves strive to find an agreement. In order to do so, there is a [corresponding] framework set by the UN Security Council, there is an experience of co-existence of the Syrian ethnic, political and religious groups," Lavrov concluded.

    In February, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow would support the establishment of a federal republic in Syria if the Syrians themselves agreed on it.

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    federalization, Syrian Kurds, Sergei Lavrov, Syria
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