Lavrov: We agreed with Saudi FM to continue coordination towards inter-Syrian dialogue

Moscow, SANA – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday there are differences between Russia and Saudi Arabia in relation to the implementation of the items of Geneva Communiqué of June 30, 2012 on Syria.

“We discussed the goals of implementing the understandings and agreements included in the Communiqué of Geneva 1, and despite that there are some differences in the Russian and Saudi stances on that, I can say that most of the Russian and Saudi stances converge,” said Lavrov addressing the reporters in a press conference held jointly with his Saudi Arabian counterpart Adel al-Jubeir in Moscow.

He added that both sides agreed to continue thinking about the steps that need to be taken to create the favorable conditions to resume dialogue between the Syrian government and all spectra of the opposition under the auspices of the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

Lavrov described his meeting today with al-Jubeir as “very useful” as it came to push forward the understandings reached in the Qatari capital Doha two weeks ago, where the situation in the Middle East and means to solve the crisis in Syria were discussed by Lavrov, al-Jubeir and the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Russia and Saudi Arabia share a unified view on the need for concerted efforts to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the other terrorist organizations, said Lavrov.

In this context and as far as the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initiative on establishing a wide regional alliance to fight ISIS is concerned, Lavrov stressed that the debate on this initiative will continue, noting that “we have found some features to apply.”

Bogdanov: We are preparing a new expanded meeting for various Syrian opposition groups

Meanwhile, Russian President’s Special Envoy to the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Russia is preparing for a new expanded meeting involving the various groups of the Syrian opposition aimed at solving the crisis in Syria.

He told reporters in a statement that Moscow has made a list of names who will be taking part in the meeting, which it intends to hand to the US and Saudi Arabia.

Russia, Bogdanov said, is willing to hold more contacts in Moscow or Damascus or anywhere else if it would be necessary.

He noted that the date of a meeting between Lavrov and the opposition “National Coalition”, called upon the latter’s request, will be set today or tomorrow, adding that Lavrov’s meetings with other representatives of the opposition might take place during this week or the next one.

Bogdanov also underscored Russia’s willingness to host any new meeting between representatives of the government and the opposition if there is a desire for that.

Haifa Said

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