Russia ready to assist in starting up dialogue between Syrian govt., opposition

External actors should assist in the launch of a dialogue between the Syrian administration and the opposition, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

"The Russian position is unwavering - we are interested in the soonest shift from talk about the importance of the Action Group's Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012, to practical assistance in the termination of the inter-Syrian confrontation," he said.

Lukashevich's answer was published on the Russian Foreign Ministry website on Thursday.

He was commenting on a statement by U.S. Department of State spokesperson Victoria Nuland who said it was planned to use the upcoming tripartite Geneva meeting on the Syrian settlement as an additional instrument of pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and demand for his resignation.

"Only the Syrians can agree on the model of further national development," Lukashevich stressed.

"All external actors must double their efforts to assist in the creation of conditions for the beginning of a dialogue between the authorities and the opposition without preconditions and in line with the aforesaid Geneva document. Russia was and is prepared for this work," the diplomat said.

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