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Extremists in the Lines of Syrian Opposition Block Dialogue-Lavrov

MOSCOW,(ST)_ Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday slammed "extremists" within the Syrian opposition who he said were blocking the start of dialogue.

"Several days ago we thought that the conditions had become more clear for the sides to sit at the negotiating table and begin discussing the future of their country," Russia Today reported Lavrov today (Tuesday)  after meeting with counterpart from the Netherlands Frans Timmerman in Moscow.

"There emerged voices in favour of urgently starting such dialogue, without prerequisite conditions."

However these voices were later silenced, he added. "Blood continues to be shed and statements are being made which move away the prospect of starting dialogue."

"It seems that extremists who bet on an armed solution to the Syrian problem have prevailed in the ranks of the opposition at this time, including the so-called (Syrian) National Coalition, blocking all initiatives that could lead to the start of dialogue," Lavrov said.

Other countries with leverage over the Syrian problem seem to "increasingly understand the need to influence both the government and the opposition, to convince them not to put forward unrealistic demands as prerequisites for starting dialogue," Lavrov added .

Lavrov continued he would discuss this issue during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, due today in Berlin, adding: "It seemed to me from our recent telephone conversation that he understands the grave situation".

In a statement on Tuesday,  the Russian Foreign Ministry announced t Lavrov will discuss today in Berlin with his U.S. counterpart, John Kerry, several  key international issues  and matters common interest.

In a telephone conversation last week, Lavrov and Kerry discussed the situation in Syria and the position towards  DPRK , following its recent nuclear test.


T. Fateh