MOSCOW, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday called on Syria's opposition groups to unite and start talks with the government.
During a meeting with Abdulbaset Sieda, the newly elected chairman of the Syrian National Council (SNC), Lavrov said Russia would like to see "how big" the prospects are to unify all opposition groups in Syria.
That, he said, would serve to form the basis of an intra-Syria dialogue and thus allow the Syrian people to decide their own fate.
Russia insists on ending the violence in Syria as soon as possible and starting a political dialogue among all parties, so as to implement a peace plan brokered by UN-Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan, Lavrov said.
For his part, Sieda called on the U.N. Security Council to intervene and help to end the country's 16-month crisis.
Meanwhile, Sieda said the Syrian opposition is not ready to start dialogues with the government until President Bashar al-Assad resigns.
"I want to confirm our position on behalf of the Syrian opposition. There is no dialogue till al-Assad resigns," Sieda said.
An action group of world powers gathered in Geneva on June 30 and agreed on a roadmap to pave the way for a Syrian-led transition to end the country's conflict.
During Monday and Tuesday's talks with the visiting Syrian opposition delegation, Lavrov said Moscow would like to see the Geneva communique on Syria be implemented.
Basma Kodmani, a member of the SNC Executive Board, told local media Tuesday that her group ruled out any forms of dialogue with the al-Assad government.