Moscow hails Syrian opposition association's initiative

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has hailed an initiative for settling the conflict in Syria put forward by the National Coordination Committee, a Syrian opposition coalition.

The initiative is in tune with the June 30 Geneva communique, Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday after talks in Moscow with a Syrian government delegation.

"We are still sure that the agreement that was reached in Geneva remains up to date, and the fact that this initiative of the largest domestic Syrian opposition association is following the same principles inspires us and gives us all a chance to move along that path," Lavrov said.

He explained that the initiative involves an immediate end to violence, a commitment "not to change facts on the ground" in the truce period, the use of that period for the release of political prisoners and hostages and for the solution of the refugees problem, and arrangements for the guaranteed delivery of humanitarian relief to its intended recipients.

"At the moment, unfortunately, the main recipients of humanitarian aide are Syrians who are outside Syria and not enough of it is provided within the country," he said.

"The fourth point of this initiative involves the earliest possible pan-Syrian dialogue between the government and all opposition groups," Lavrov said.

The Syrian government delegation he held talks with was led by the deputy prime minister for economic affairs, Qadri Jamil, and included National Reconciliation Minister Ali Haydar.

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