Lavrov: Opposition’s Agreement with No Preconditions Must be Guaranteed for Conference on Syria
May 20, 2013
MOSCOW, (SANA) – Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, stressed on Monday the necessity of guaranteeing the agreement of the Syrian opposition to participate in the international conference on Syria with no preconditions.
During a press conference in Sochi city, Lavrov said that various meetings are scheduled this week for the Syrian opposition in Istanbul and Madrid.
Lavrov added, “Our partners have stressed commitment to work with the Syrian opposition to encourage them to change their position to start the dialogue immediately and stop presenting unrealistic conditions.”
He said, “Undoubtedly, all Syria’s neighbors with no exception, including Iran, should be invited to attend the conference,” stressing that the Syrians themselves should resolve all issues.
Lavrov added that the beginning of the upcoming month does not seem an unrealistic date for holding the conference, saying “In principle, if there is good will, it would be possible to reach understanding; consequently the beginning of June does not seem to be an unrealistic date.”
He pointed out that excessive expectations should be avoided in terms of the timetable of the conference, saying “Accomplishing everything within three, four or five days – as some of our partners desire – is unrealistic… such task cannot be proposed because if very short dates were agreed on, and afterwards several days or maybe weeks were needed, there would likely be suggestions to refer the issue to the Security Council and impose sanctions and so on and so forth.”
Lavrov emphasized that the international conference on Syria requires diplomatic work, not hasty steps.