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Lavrov: Situation in Syria Favorable for Start of a ‘Practical Settlement’

Feb. 11, 2017 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview yesterday that the current situation is Syria is favorable for the beginning of "practical settlement of the crisis." "We are in a situation which I’d rather refrain from anticipating a breakthrough, but the current situation is much more favorable for starting practical steps to settle the crisis," he said.

"We came close to the beginning of such work in last September. But the Americans failed to implement the agreement that had been agreed with us. It was yet another proof of the Obama administration’s intransigence on many issues,"

Lavrov noted, adding that after the breakdown of agreements on Syria with the U.S. side Russia opted for closer cooperation on that matter with Turkey.

At least one member of the political opposition, Louay Hussein, leader of the Building the Syrian State (BSS) party and described by Reuters as a longtime pillar of Syria’s internal Damascus-based opposition, appears to agree. "The armed conflict for the state is over," Hussein said in Beirut, yesterday, where he was to participate in the formation of a bloc of secular-oriented opposition parties.

"There are no longer foreign states saying they support certain groups to topple the regime by force. We are going back towards a political struggle,"

he said.

The Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee announced today, following a meeting in Riyadh, that it will be sending a 20-person delegation to Geneva. HNC spokesman Salim al-Muslit told Arabic news channel Arabiya al-Hadath, reports Reuters, that the opposition delegation would bring together various groups, which, as well as the HNC would include armed opposition groups that took part in the Astana negotiations in January. It will also include Kurdish, Turkmen and Christian representatives, he said, but did not elaborate. "It is a military political delegation and it represents everyone," Muslit said. "Each component will nominate the person it finds suitable." Nasr al-Hariri, of the Syrian National Coalition, will lead the delegation. It is not clear, however, whether Louay Hussein’s bloc will be represented or not.