Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that representatives of the so-called “Syrian opposition”, operating in exile, work for the foreign interests rather than the interests of their own people and frequently use tactics of blackmailing and setting preconditions in order to achieve their goals.
“The representatives of the external opposition, who accustomed themselves to act only by blackmailing and setting preconditions and who work for the interests of their foreign backers instead of those of their own people, will eventually lose all their influence and legitimacy”, Lavrov was heard saying during a meeting with Ahmad Al Jarba, leader of the Syria’s Tomorrow Movement, in Moscow. He added that Moscow has always been ready to help those branches of the Syrian opposition who seek peace through dialogue, noting that his country has made a lot of effort by promoting peace through negotiations in Astana and Geneva.
Lavrov also said that Moscow noticed some positive changes in certain opposition actors that strive towards dialogue and whose efforts are as such greatly appreciated by Moscow, affirming that Syrians themselves should choose the fate of their country and solve their disputes in a peaceful manner on their own.
He pointed out that the only way to effectively end the Syrian crisis is to launch an intra-Syrian dialogue that would guarantee cessation of all hostilities and help to preserve the norms and principles of the newly-brokered memorandum on establishing de-escalation zones, adding that this will eventually allow forces of the Syrian government and the opposition to fight terrorism jointly.