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lavrov extremists prevailed in syrian opposition and are blocking dialogue

Feb 26, 2013

MOSCOW, (SANA)- Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said the extremists have prevailed within the Syrian opposition ranks and are blocking an initiatives that could lead to dialogue.

“Several days ago we thought that the conditions had become more clear for the sides to sit at the negotiating table…There emerged voices in favor of urgently starting such dialogue, without prerequisite conditions…However these voices were later silenced,” Lavrov told reporters after meeting in Moscow with his Dutch counterpart Frans Timmermans.

“It seems that extremists…have prevailed in the ranks of the opposition at this time, including the so-called National Coalition, blocking all initiatives that could lead to the start of dialogue,” Lavrov was quoted as saying by Russia Today website.

“We don’t give up,” he added, “We, of course, can’t solve the problem on behalf of the Syrians, but we feel in our contacts with the other countries which could more or less practice influence on the Syrian sides increasing concern over the continued situation.”

Other countries of the international community seem to “increasingly understand the need to influence both the government and the opposition, to convince them not to put forward unrealistic demands as prerequisites for starting dialogue,” Lavrov said.

He pointed out that this issue will be discussed during his meeting with the US Secretary of State John Kerry due in Berlin today.

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