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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

    Russia Supports Unification of Three Syrian Opposition Groups - Lavrov

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    Russia believes a Unified Syrian opposition group will contribute to really substantial negotiations on the Syrian future.

    ABU DHABI (Sputnik) — Moscow supports Saudi Arabia's initiative to unite three Syrian opposition platforms, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday.

    "When Saudi Arabia put forward the initiative to unite the High Negotiations Committee, which was once formed at a meeting in Riyadh, with the Cairo group of oppositionists and the Moscow group of oppositionists, we supported this in the most active way. I believe this… will contribute to the beginning of really substantial, meaningful negotiations about the future of Syria," Lavrov told reporters in Abu Dhabi.

    Lavrov disagreed that the negotiations on the unification of the Syrian opposition failed.

    "It does not matter that there has been no breakthrough… The main thing is that this process has begun, and the participants in this process — the Riyadh group, the Cairo and Moscow groups — agreed to continue these efforts. We will help our Saudi colleagues in every possible way to move in this direction," he said.

    The comment was made after Saudi Arabia and Egypt have supported the idea of conducting the second meeting between the Syrian opposition.

    Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said at a joint press conference with Sergey Lavrov that the Syrian opposition needs more time to coordinate its actions in order to form a single delegation at the reconciliation talks.

    "The latest meeting in Riyadh [between the three platforms of the Syrian opposition] was important, it [the opposition] needs more time to coordinate positions," Al Nahyan said.

    According to Al Nahyan, the fight against terrorism and the de-escalation of violence in the country are needed to maintain peace and prevent further escalation.

    In order to settle the long-standing political crisis in Syria, the country’s opposition should stop making ultimatums that do not fall under the framework set by the UN Security Council, Lavrov added.

    "It is necessary for the opposition to behave in a realistic way and give up ultimatums that do not fall under the framework set by the UN Security Council. The Security Council has ruled that the fate of Syria should be decided by the Syrians themselves. There are no preliminary conditions," Lavrov said at the press conference.

    The new round talks on Syrian crisis settlement is expected to take place in Astana in September.

    On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov started his trip to the Persian Gulf, during which he will visit Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.    

    Tags:
    Syrian opposition, Syria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt
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