MID           09/09/2016

On September 9, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov conducted a number of meetings at the Russian Foreign Ministry with representatives of the Moscow, Astana and Cairo groups of the Syrian opposition Qadri Jamil, Randa Kassis, Jihad Makdissi and Jamal Suleiman, including a round of collective consultations.

During a substantive and engaging discussion of developments in and around Syria, special emphasis was placed on the need for a political solution to the Syrian crisis. It was stated that the speedy establishment of an inclusive intra-Syrian dialogue based the provisions of the Geneva Communiqué of June 30, 2012, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and decisions by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) could put an end to the armed conflict and reduce tensions in Syrian society.

In conclusion, the participants reaffirmed that the programmatic statements of major Syrian opposition groups should complement each other and form a common constructive negotiating platform for the sake of preserving Syria as a unified, sovereign and secular state, in which all citizens enjoy equal rights irrespective of ethnic or religious identity.