Russia, US agree on November Syria talks: Lavrov

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Moscow and Washington have agreed to push for holding the planned Geneva II conference on the Syrian crisis in mid-November.

In May, Russia and the US agreed to convene an international conference on Syria, which will serve as a follow-up to an earlier Geneva meeting held in June 2012.

“We advocate holding the international conference (on Syria) in mid-November,” Lavrov told reporters after holding talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Bali, Indonesia on Monday.

“Today, we agreed on the steps needed for both the government and the opposition to come to the conference,” Lavrov said.

On Sunday, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad said he was ready for the Geneva II conference but stressed that he would not negotiate with terrorists.

“We don’t have conditions except that we reject to negotiate with terrorists” unless they lay down their arms and condemn calls for a foreign military strike against Syria, Assad said.

“The main condition is that the solution should be a Syrian one and the dialogue is political … but if the dialogue was with weapons so why would we go to Geneva?” he asked.

Syria’s foreign-backed opposition coalition remains divided over taking part in the second round of Geneva talks. They have repeatedly expressed reluctance to take part in the conference unless Assad steps down.

Syria has been gripped by deadly turmoil since 2011. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the violence.

Reports indicate that the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

By Press TV


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