Russia urges all Syrian parties to sit down for talks

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Russia has been in intensive contacts with the Syrian government and the opposition, trying to persuade them to sit down at the negotiating table, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

Talking to UN-Arab League joint special envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi on the phone, the top Russian diplomat said that Moscow sees no alternative to an intra-Syrian dialogue.

"The minister stressed there was no alternative to the continuation of the work with all Syrian sides to stop violence immediately and start an all-Syrian dialogue with no preliminary conditions to solve the acute issues of the national agenda," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

Meanwhile, Russia called on all international players to work in the same direction.

"It is necessary that all outside players work in the identical mode in full compliance with the agreements achieved during the ministerial meeting of the action group (on Syria) in Geneva on June 30," said the statement.

Russia held separate talks with senior figures from Syria's government and opposition last week in a bid to initiate a political settlement to the prolonged Syria crisis. Endi

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