Moscow to help form Syrian opposition delegation for talks with Damascus

"We do not want this process to be endless", Sergei Lavrov said

Russia will help timely form the Syrian opposition delegation for the negotiations with Damascus, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"We do not want this process to be endless. We will assist its promotion on the basis of the agreed benchmarks," Lavrov said in an interview with Interfax.

"All of these problems are difficult and cannot be solved without giving it a second thought," he added.

Lavrov recalled that the agreements drawn up at the International Syria Support Group and set forth in the UN Security Council Resolution of 18 December 2015 S/RES/2254 suggest that "as mutually agreed by the government and the entire spectrum of the Syrian opposition, Syrians must reach an agreement on joint governance of their country on a confession-free basis, draw up a new Constitution and hold a UN-controlled election."

"This entire process is to take about 18 months," Lavrov said. "The key principle is that the Syrian future must be decided by Syrians themselves on the basis of maintaining this country's sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity," he said.

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