Russia ready to host talks between Syrian government and opposition

AFP Photo / Adem Altan
Moscow says it is ready to host negotiations between the government of President Bashar Assad and the Syrian opposition in an effort to resolve the deteriorating situation in the country.

Russia is also ready to send 30 military observers to the UN Supervision Mission in Syria, Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, said on Wednesday.

"By supporting the work of the Mission, Russia has informed the UN Secretariat about its readiness to send 30 military observers to UNSMIS. We are also ready to give a platform for talks in Moscow to the Syrian authorities and the opposition," Churkin said as quoted by Itar-Tass news agency.

Russia’s envoy to the global body reiterated that Moscow’s stance on Syria is “principled.”

“We call for the soonest peaceful settlement of the crisis by Syrians themselves – without foreign interference – by national dialogue between the government and the opposition. This position fully corresponds to the final document of the Geneva conference that laid the foundation for the activity of the Action Group created by Kofi Annan".

Last week the UN Security Council voted for a 20-day technical extension to the UN observer mission in Syria as the previous one expired on July 20.

‘Language of guns and bullets’

Meanwhile, the violence continues on the ground in Syria, with brutal clashes between government and opposition forces taking place in the flashpoint city of Aleppo.

Haitham Alsibahie, a member of the Syrian Social Club, told RT that the armed opposition does not have its decisions in its own hands. “The decisions come from the outside, from countries like the United States, backed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar,” he said.

He believes that they just do what they are told, which is destroying the country’s infrastructure, attacking the army and crippling the Syrian economy.

Following last week’s massive bombing in Damascus that killed four senior government officials, the Syrians have called for “swift action” against the armed groups, Alsibahie claims. He says the armed opposition and their “masters” have refused dialogue and refused Kofi Annan’s plan. “Enough is enough. These people understand only the language of guns and bullets,” he concludes.