04:33 GMT +320 August 2019
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    Syrian opposition should not boycott reforms - Russian FM

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    The Syrian opposition should not boycott the process of reforms, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday at a meeting with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.

    The Syrian opposition should not boycott the process of reforms, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday at a meeting with EUEU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.

    “If the stake is only made on ‘foreign states assisting [the country] in knocking down the regime,’ this is absolutely irresponsible,” Lavrov said.

    “We’ve already seen this in Libya. Unfortunately, the case is far from peaceful there. We would not like this to repeat in Syria,” he said.

    Lavrov also called on Syrian authorities to be consecutive and enthusiastic in their actions regarding the organization of national dialogue.

    Protests and violence in Syria have continued for nine months. The UN says 3,500 people have died in clashes while Syrian official statistics put the figure at 2,600. The opposition wants President Bashar al-Assad to quit, a demand backed by the United States and the EU.

    Two weeks ago, Damascus agreed to accept an Arab League peace plan for Syria, in which Damascus would release political prisoners detained in the current conflict, and remove all military equipment from urban areas.

     

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