Russia releases statement on officials' visit to Syria

Tuesday, Feb 14,2012, 8:31:40 PM

On 7 February, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Mikhail Fradkov on the instruction of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Damascus and met with the President of the Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad [al-Asad].

In the course of the meeting they discussed in detail the situation in and around Syria. Russia reaffirmed its intention to promote peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis by Syrians themselves without foreign intervention and with full respect of Syria's independence. In this context S. Lavrov, M. Fradkov and B. al-Assad emphasized the relevance of constructive interaction between Syria and the Arab League. They also stressed the need to immediately stop violence, regardless of where it may come from, to start an inclusive nation-wide dialogue as early as possible and to implement the long overdue democratic reforms.

Mr al-Assad expressed his understanding and support of Russia's aforementioned approaches and reaffirmed his willingness to send an official government delegation to the intra-Syrian meeting in Moscow.

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