Syrian dissidents seek supports in Moscow

08:33, June 29, 2011      

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A Syrian opposition delegation visiting Moscow on Tuesday said it hopes Russia would use its influence to stop the ongoing violence in Syria, local media reported.

"We hope that Russia can put pressure on the Syrian regime to make it clear that such behavior (use of violence against protesters) is unacceptable," delegation leader Radwan Ziadeh was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.

The delegation met with Mikhail Margelov, the Russian presidential special envoy on the Middle East and Africa.

Ziadeh, founder of the Damascus Human Rights Research Center, said that protests will not cease in Syria and "the people of Syria no longer see Bashar al Assad as the legitimate leader of Syria."

Margelov, meanwhile, said Moscow does not want the situation in Syria to escalate to even more violence.

"Russia is seriously concerned about the developments in Syria and Russia stands for the soonest transformation of the Syrian confrontation into a political process, for putting an end to violence in that country," Margelov said.

He said talks with the Syrian opposition members were "extremely useful and interesting," which would help to "understand our friends' position."

The Russian Foreign Ministry said last week that the visit by the Syrian opposition delegation should not be regarded as a political move and there would be no formal meetings with top officials.

Since mid-March, Syria has witnessed massive protests across the country. Germany and France have said they would continue efforts to push a UN Security Council resolution on Syria, while Russia says it may veto the resolution.

Source: Xinhua
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