Syrian Foreign Ministry welcomes talks on the country's territory

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has stressed Wednesday that Damascus' doors are open to a dialogue with the opposition inside Syria and those who have gone into exile, as long as the dialogue is based on a political program prepared by the Syrian President Bashar al-Asad, and takes place within the territory of the Arab country.

The ministry said it has announced, in a statement, that it welcomes the Russian invitation to the  Foreign Minister of Syria, Walid al-Moallem, to visit Moscow (Moscow) to maintain dialogues with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, who will also meet the leader of the new coalition of Syrian opposition, Ahmad al-Khatib Moaz.

Moreover, the text adds that the visit of Al-Moallem has nothing to do with Al-Khatib, then emphasizes that "the gates of Damascus are open to dialogue on Syrian soil and under the roof of the fatherland."

Note that the statement has been issued to downplay information that has been reported by several media outlets, in which he noted that Moscow could orchestrate a meeting between al-Moallem and Al-Khatib.

Syria has repeatedly stressed its willingness to dialogue, but these have to take place in Syria without any preconditions.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, Alexei Pushkov, says that  the US is moving closer to Russia's position and will soon acknowledge the reasons and proofs which Russia put forward in regard to evaluating the situation in Syria, pointing out that the US has admitted that the collapse of the administrative structure in Syria would have very negative repercussions. 

He also said that Russia rejects calls for President Bashar al-Assad to step aside as a precondition for dialogue.

"We reject the requirement of the departure of President al-Assad as a precondition to launch dialogue between the parties concerned in Syria.

The settlement in Syria, according to him, will be as follows: "dialogue comes first and the future of the political system is to be determined later."
Pushkov said that the system in Syria has no choice but to defend itself, adding that "Had it not been for the huge foreign arms supplies and financial support, the Syrian government would have been able to keep a firm hold on all Syrian areas."

He added that President al-Assad was right when he announced that "We are fighting against an international conspiracy," noting that the presence of serious foreign intervention elements aims at creating a bloody balance, which will prolong the crisis.

Translated from the Spanish version by:

Lisa Karpova


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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey