DAMASCUS, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Friday that Damascus and Moscow share the same perspective on exerting all efforts to make the Geneva II conference on the Syrian crisis a success, according to official SANA news agency.
"Our points of view correspond to those of the Russian side on exerting all efforts to make the Geneva II peace conference successful," al-Moallem said during a press conference held in Moscow following a tripartite meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, and Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The meeting comes as part of the ongoing preparations for the Geneva II conference, slated for Jan. 22 and designed to bring the Syrian government and opposition to the negotiating table to hammer out a political solution to their three-year-old conflict.
"We want a political solution to the Syrian crisis out of Geneva II conference," al-Moallem said, adding that the planned conference must create bases for a dialogue among Syrians free from foreign intervention.
He stressed that Syria is defending its people in line with constitutional rights, adding that the armed rebels are committing sabotage acts due to the unlimited support they get from other countries.
For his part, Lavrov said that there are some maneuvers and attempts to place hurdles to thwart the conference.
The Russian diplomat further voiced concerns about the vague stance of the Syrian opposition parties that haven't yet given a final answer on whether they will partake in the conference or not.
He also said that the humanitarian aspect of the Syrian crisis is being used as a pretext for foreign intervention in the Syrian issue, according to the Arabic translation provided by Syria's state media.
The Syrian government declared that it would partake in the conference without preconditions, while the exiled opposition has yet to make a final decision but stressed President Bashar al- Assad must have no role in the transitional period of Syria.
Despite the differences, the international community is still pushing for the conference.
Domestically-based Syrian opposition calls for equal representation in Geneva II
DAMASCUS, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Domestically-based Syrian opposition National Coordination Body (NCB) on Thursday rejected to participate in the upcoming Geneva II conference, calling for an equal representation with the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition (SNC) in the peace talks.
In an interview with Xinhua, Ahmad al-Esrawi, a senior member of the NCB, said that his group will not attend the conference under the umbrella of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), the main opposition umbrella in exile, as proposed by the Western powers. Full story