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10 Oct, 2011 11:12

Moscow offers round table for Syrian regime and opposition

Members of the Syrian opposition and government can meet for talks in Moscow, Chairman of the Federation Council Committee for International Affairs Mikhail Margelov stated during a meeting with a Syrian delegation.

“Russia is ready to provide all opportunities so that the inter-Syrian dialogue can go ahead efficiently,” said Mikhail Margelov, who is also presidential envoy for relations with African States. “If needed, we are ready to provide a round table for negotiations between the Syrian authorities and opposition. If necessary, this can be done in Moscow.” Margelov stressed that Russia is eager to do its best to facilitate the dialogue between Syrian political forces, adding that “Russian experience, weight and influence” are at Syria’s disposal.The politician reminded that last month a delegation of Russian senators visited Syria to meet both sides of the conflict and to see with their own eyes what is going on in the country, including the hottest spots.In Moscow, the Syrian delegation is scheduled to meet not only Russian parliamentarians but also Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov. Margelov also commented on Russia’s veto on the Security Council resolution on Syria.“It is important to understand that the Russian veto is not an indulgence or carte blanche for the incumbent Syrian regime,” he pointed out. “And if the Syrian regime has not understood this signal, they should do so as soon as possible.”The politician called on Syrian leader Bashar Assad not to drag out the reform process and, even more importantly, “to have dialogue with all the parties involved in the conflict, not only those with whom it is convenient to talk.” Last week, reiterating Moscow’s stance on Syria, President Dmitry Medvedev stated that the country’s authorities should conduct immediate reforms otherwise they will have to leave their posts.At the same time, opposition seems reluctant to look for a consensus with the authorities. Abdulbaset Sieda, a member of the Syrian National Council, said on Monday that the opposition will fight together against the regime because they all “agree that this regime belongs to the past.”