Introductory speech of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the meeting with Syrian government delegations headed by President of the Council of Ministers of the Syrian Arab Republic Qadri Jamil, Moscow, 22 July 2013

Dear Mr Jamil, dear delegation members,

We deem it important to use your stay in Moscow to exchange opinions about the development of the situation in Syria and, the main thing, to make it pass to a political tideway.

We are seriously concerned with the situation in SAR. We are convinced that there is no military solution for the crisis. We would like to bring this thought to each and all participants of the Syrian process. We continue to meet both representative of SAR Government and the opposition groups, convince everybody that we need to adopt the Russian-American initiative as soon as possible, especially in what concerns the convention of an International Conference on Syria without preconditions, for full and comprehensive implementation of the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012.

Unfortunately, unlike the Government of Syria the majority of the opposition, including representative of the National Coalition do not show such readiness. We insistently and consistently appeal to our partners having serious impact on the National Coalition to use it for a good cause and to achieve its refusal from its current non-constructive position.

We know that the Syrian Government is open for the dialogue with opposition forces. We appeal to continue these efforts so that no constructive group of opposition members stays outside the frame of participants of the international conference, which, I hope, will be convened in the nearest future.

I also would like to draw attention to the final Declaration of leaders of countries of the Group of Eight adopted in Lough Erne (Northern Ireland) last month, the section of which dedicated to the situation in Syria, contains a direct appeal to the Syrian Government and the opposition to consolidate efforts to remove terrorists and extremists from the country. We think that this task should become one of the main items of the international conference. We certainly need to develop specific measures, which will allow implementing each and all provisions of the Geneva Communiqué.

At our today’s meeting, I expect to discuss these issues, as well as main lines of bilateral relations.