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Syrian opposition leader meets with Russian foreign minister

Syrian Coalition President Ahmad al-Jarba met Monday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow where they discussed the opposition's commitment to diplomatic negotiation, and Lavrov commended Jarba for not seeking a military solution to the crisis.

By JC Finley
Syrian opposition leader meets with Russian foreign minister
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, pictured in December 2013, met with Syrian Coalition President Ahmad al-Jarba in Moscow on February 3, 2014 to discuss the Syrian crisis. (File/UPI/Maryam Rahmanian) | License Photo

MOSCOW, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Syrian Coalition President Ahmad al-Jarba met Monday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow where they discussed the Geneva II Syrian peace talks.

Preceding the trip, the Syrian opposition leader tweeted his enthusiasm for his travel to Russia.

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The National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces released a statement on Tuesday about the opposition president's meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov.

President Jarba relayed the opposition's intent to continue participation in the second round of the Geneva II peace talks and remarked on difficulty in getting the Bashar al-Assad regime to accept the Geneva I communique.

In response, Lavrov said "We regard the fact that the National Coalition delegation arrived in Montreux to attend the launch of an international peace conference on Syria and the first round of the negotiations as their choice for a peace settlement of the armed conflict," acknowledging that doing so was not an easy choice as "there are still those who bet on the military solution."

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Lavrov, commenting on the opposition's intent to engage diplomatically, stated "We support your choice as it makes it possible to launch the Syrian-led negotiations."

[Syrian Coalition]

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