"Once again we call on our partners at the international arena, as well as all groups of the Syrian opposition to give a principled assessment of the crimes of terrorists in Syria, while preventing manifestations of the "double standards" policy that would allow the terrorist international to realize their criminal aims in this country," accroding to the Russian Foreign Ministry statement in connection with a terrorist act in the suburbs of Damascus on July 25.
An informal meeting between members of the UN Security Council and representatives of the Syrian opposition may not be considered its official recognition, the Vocie of Russia correspondent Igor Siletsky quoted the Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations
"This is an absolutely informal event, not even that of the UN Security Council. The fact that the meeting will take place may not be considered a step towards recognising the National Coalition [for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces] in some official capacity," Churkin said at the UN Headquarters on Thursday, July 25.
"The purpose of the meeting is to set the National Coalition and its leadership for preparing Geneva-2," Churkin added.
Russia has agreed to take part in the meeting in order to "advance the preparation of the conference in Geneva through informal discussion."
The meeting has been called by Great Britain for this coming Friday, July 26.
On Tuesday, July 23, UK Permanent Representative to the UN Lyall Grant announced that the Security Council members would hold an informal meeting with a delegation of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces to be led by its new President Ahmad Jarba.
He said one of the purposes of the meeting would be preparing a second international conference in Geneva, commonly referred to as Geneva-2.
Grant also expressed hopes that Russia is to participate in UN Security Council meeting.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier, however, that the first statements by the Syrian national coalition’s new leader show no signs of commitment to political settlement in the country.
"Nevertheless, Moscow is ready to establish contact with the new leadership of the coalition in the interests of facilitating an end to the devastating conflict in Syria and the suffering of the friendly Syrian people through broad inter-Syrian dialogue with full respect for national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Syria and without foreign interference," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.
"At this point, in our opinion, which as far as we know is shared by our American partners, a priority task in facilitating a peaceful political settlement in Syria is to consolidate different groups of the Syrian opposition on the basis of the Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012," the spokesperson said.
"In this respect, the new leadership of the National Coalition is expected to state clearly and unambiguously its readiness to send its representatives to the peaceful conference in Geneva in order to join other influential opposition groups at the negotiations with the Syrian government without preconditions and start a joint search for concrete parameters for political settlement in Syria in accordance with the Geneva Community," Lukashevich said.
Moscow expects the Syrian opposition to agree to attend the international conference on Syria without preconditions, Russian president’s special representative for the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said.
At their talks in Moscow on May 7, Russian Foreign Minister
Lavrov and Kerry said that their countries would encourage both the Syrian government and opposition groups to look for a political solution.
However, the Syrian opposition has so far not confirmed its participation in the conference, which remains the main obstacle to holding it.
Voice of Russia