Russia accuses Syria opposition of trying to scuttle peace bid

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday accused the Syrian opposition of seeking to disrupt plans for a peace conference by putting forward unrealistic demands.

“We are under the impression that the National Coalition and its regional sponsors are doing everything so as not to allow the start of the political process and achieve military intervention in Syria through any means possible,” Lavrov told reporters.

Syria’s main opposition, the National Coalition, on Wednesday reiterated its demands that any negotiations with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must lead to his resignation.

“These demands are impossible to fulfil,” Lavrov said, as he reiterated Russia’s concerns that the anti-Assad opposition in Syria was fractured and did not have a single leader.

“The only thing that unites them is a demand of Bashar al Assad’s immediate departure.”

“I hope that there will be sensible forces among the Americans and Europeans who will be able to rein in those who condone these absolutely unacceptable aggressive approaches of the National Coalition and who try to make this coalition look like the only structure with which the Syrian government should talk.”

Russia and the United States have been pushing for an international peace conference dubbed Geneva 2 to try to end the conflict in Syria.

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