14 December 2012, 10:57

US seeks Russia’s help on Syria

US seeks Russia’s help on Syria

US State Department has called on Russia to assist Syria’s democratic transition.

“The question now is, will the Russian government join those of us in the international community who are working with the opposition to try to have a smooth democratic transition?” US spokeswoman Victoria Nuland asked at a briefing Thursday.

Ms. Nuland said Washington wanted Russia to learn the Syrian opposition and talk to its leaders.

This week, the US has recognized the national Council as Syria’s sole legitimate power. The US noted however the opposition was too fragmented to allow for a swift anti-jihadist action.

The Barack administration stressed however it wasn’t going to change its stance on Syria and saw no role for Bashar Assad in the country’s future.

“There is an international conference, as you know, this week to further help the opposition as it organizes and unifies, and the sooner that Assad goes the better it will be for the Syrian people,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday.  

Lavrov to receive delegation of Syrian opposition 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is due to receive a delegation of the Syrian Coalition of Forces for Peaceful Changein Moscow today.

The chief internal opposition delegate is the leader of the Popular Frontfor Change and Liberation Qadri Jamil.

The unification of those opposed to the current regime in Damascus is one of the main conditions for putting an end to the bloodshed. Jamil has told reporters that his coalition sees the so-called “Friends of Syria Group” as the enemies of their country who are interested in external interference in Syria’s internal affairs.

On prospects for a dialogue between the government and the opposition, Jamil said that such a dialogue is absolutely indispensable as the only way to settle the crisis. 

Recognition of Syrian opposition as sole power makes peaceful settlement impossible - Pushkov

A decision by the Friends of Syria to recognize the Syrian opposition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people makes the peaceful settlement of the Syrian conflict impossible, chairman of the Russian State Duma committee on international affairs Alexei Pushkov wrote on his Twitter page on Thursday.

Meeting in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh yesterday, member-states of the so-called Friends of Syria group recognized the recently-founded National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces as a legitimate power body.

Between 20,000 and 40,000 people are believed to have been killed in Syria since the conflict began 20 months ago.

The Syrian government says it is confronted by well-armed local militants and foreign mercenaries.

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