Russia urges to expel terrorists from Syria

Updated: 2013-07-22 20:13


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MOSCOW - All parties in the Syrian conflict should devote themselves to ousting terrorists and extremists from the Mideast country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

"In my opinion, this task should be a major item on the agenda of the proposed international conference on Syria," Lavrov told reporters before meeting visiting Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil.

"To our regret, unlike the government of Syria, a significant part of the opposition, including the National Coalition, has not expressed such readiness yet," he said, referring to a largely exiled opposition group.

Noting that military solutions could not solve the Syrian crisis, Lavrov said Moscow had been in consistent touch with the government and opposition groups in a bid to convince them to participate in the conference "as soon as possible without any preconditions."

Russia and the United States proposed on May 7 to hold a international conference in Geneva to bring Syrian government and opposition representatives together to find a solution to the two-year conflict. No date has yet been set for the conference.

Jamil, for his part, said some Western countries were to blame for the lasting conflicts and the sufferings of the Syrian people.

He noted that political and military attempts to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad's regime in the past two years "have failed."