Leaders of the opposition Syrian National Council are in Moscow meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Interfax news reported Wednesday.
The head of the oppositional Syrian National Council Abdel Basset Sayda declared following a meeting with Russia’s Foreign Minister no dialogue with the government in Damascus until President Bashar al-Assad steps down.that it will engage in
"Syrian President Bashar Assad must step down .We at the national council only negotiate one thing with Assad, which is the manner of his departure from Syria."
Abdel Basset Sayda stressed that a "revolution" was underway in Syria. "Events in Syria are not only disagreement between the opposition and the government, but a revolution," he said, comparing the situation in his country to what happened in Russia in the aftermath of the USSR's collapse in 1991.
For his part, Burhan Ghalioun, member of the Syrian National Council leadership, said: "We have not seen any developments in the Russian position. I was here a year ago and the (Russian) position has not changed."
Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov once again called on the Syrian government and all of the opposition groups to embark on a dialogue which would enable the Syrian people to determine their own fate.
Aso on Wednesday, U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan is expected to brief the U.N. Security Council following his own separate meeting with Assad and the leaders of Iran and Iraq regarding the Syrian crisis.
It is worth metioning that in late June in Geneva, the foreign ministers of United States, China, Russia, France, Great Britain, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, and Iraq, the U.N. Secretary General and Arab League Secretary General agreed on the principles of a transition in Syria. After the meeting, members of the Task Force on Syria differed on the interpretation of the agreement. The United States said it paved the way for the post-Assad period, while Russia and China reaffirmed that it was up to the Syrians to determine their future.
In related news, according to AFP news, Erin Pelton, a spokeswoman for the U.S. National Security Council said that the U.S. is not worried about Russia’s deployment of a naval flotilla to the Syrian port of Tartus.
"We currently have no reason to believe this move is anything out of the ordinary, but we refer you to the Russian government for more details."
Pelton comment came after reports said Russia has sent a naval flotilla of seven warships led by an anti-submarine destroyer to its naval base at the Syrian port of Tartus.