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Syrian opposition demands Russia take sides

English.news.cn   2014-02-04 18:47:38

MOSCOW, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Russia must decide whom it sides with in the Syrian conflict, a leader of the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) said here Tuesday.

"We are friends with Russia. But Russia must decide with whom it wants to be, with the people or with the government (of Syria)," Badr Jamous, secretary general of the SNC was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.

Jamous said the Syrian crisis could not be settled unless President Bashar al-Assad resigns.

Jamous was accompanying SNC Chairman Ahmad Jarba for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.

Lavrov and the opposition leaders discussed the outline of a Syrian transitional government.

Earlier Tuesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that Moscow hopes both Syria's government and opposition delegations will attend the next round of the Geneva II conference.

"We proceed from the assumption they will come to Geneva," Gatilov said in an interview published at the Foreign Ministry's website.

He added that Lavrov's talks on Tuesday with SNC leaders would focus on the extension of the Syrian opposition delegation to Geneva to include representatives of other opposition groups.

According to UN figures, the nearly three-year-long conflict has left 9.3 million people in Syria and more than 2 million others outside the country in need of humanitarian assistance.

Editor: Shen Qing
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