Syria welcomes Russia as intermediary in reconciliation talks

Syria is ready to accept Russia’s role as intermediary in the settlement of the current political crisis in the country, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said on Monday.

Moscow earlier offered to help the opposing sides in the Syrian political crisis to start a reconciliation dialogue.

“If Russia is willing to [become an intermediary], we welcome it. We believe that the solution of the crisis lies through dialogue,” Moallem said.

There has been mounting international pressure on Syria to end its bloody crackdown on 8-month-old anti-government protests.

The Arab League approved on Sunday economic sanctions against Syria, agreeing to stop dealing with Syria’s central bank and to freeze the assets of the Syrian government, while European Union governments agreed on Monday to impose additional financial sanctions on the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Opposition leaders maintain that Syrian authorities continue to use force against “peaceful demonstrations” and many people were killed or injured as a result.

Meanwhile, the authorities say that the troops and police are clashing with militants, who are financed from abroad and attack administrative bodies and ordinary citizens.

According to UN estimates, more than 3,500 people have been killed in Syria since mid-March, when first protests against Bashar al-Assad’s regime began.


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