Russia, Britain both want to stabilize Syria: Putin

Sochi, May 10 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia and Britain have common interest in preserving Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday after talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Cameron arrived in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi Friday to discuss a wide range of issues, although it is expected that Syria, which has been one particular area of policy divergence between the two countries, is likely to top the agenda.

Putin said that at the talks, which were initiated by Cameron, the two sides discussed the options for a positive development of a situation in Syria and also “a number of joint steps” to settle the ongoing crisis.

The Russian president said Moscow and London have “common interest in a speedy end to the violence, the launch of a peace process and the preservation of Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty”.

At a press conference in Sochi, Cameron said that although Russia and Britain have different stances on Syria, they share a fundamental goal of “ending the conflict” and giving Syria’s people a right to elect a government and prevent the rise of extremism.

Cameron has supported the idea of convening international talks on Syria that will include international mediators and both representatives of the Syrian government and opposition.

The conference, expected to be arranged by the end of this month, will be aimed at facilitating a solution to the Syrian crisis through political dialogue, US Secretary of State John Kerry said at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow this week.

Cameron said Britain, Russia and the US should assist the formation of a transitional government of Syria based on the consent of the Syrian people.

–IANS/RIA Novosti


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