04:06 GMT19 April 2021
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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has admonished attempts to demonize Syrian President Bashar Assad, media reports said.

    Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned against demonizing Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to media reports. He made the remarks during his speech at the 2016 Munich Security Conference.

    "There is no need to demonize Assad. Also, there is no need to demonize other people, except, maybe, the terrorists operating in Syria," he said.

    Touching on the Syrian crisis, Lavrov added that daily coordination between Russia and the US-led coalition is a key to the settlement of the Syrian crisis and to addressing humanitarian issues.

    U.S. Foreign Secretary John Kerry (centre, 2L) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (centre, L) attend the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting in Munich, Germany, February 11, 2016, together with members of the Syrian opposition and other officials
    © REUTERS / Michael Dalder
    U.S. Foreign Secretary John Kerry (centre, 2L) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (centre, L) attend the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting in Munich, Germany, February 11, 2016, together with members of the Syrian opposition and other officials

    At the same time, the Russian Foreign Minister warned that putting forward preconditions for engaging in intra-Syrian settlement talks is a "road to nowhere" and a blunt provocation.

    Syria has been mired in a civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad fighting opposition factions and terrorist groups such as Daesh and the Al-Nusra Front, which are banned in Russia.

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    Tags:
    terrorists, conference, settlement, speech, Bashar Assad, Sergei Lavrov, Syria, Russia
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