The leader of the Syrian opposition’s negotiation team insisted on Friday that President Bashar al-Assad resign as a precondition for restoring peace in the war-torn country.
“It is impossible for this person, who has destroyed Syria, who is responsible for the deaths of many Syrians, to remain,” Naser al-Hariri said in Moscow ahead of a meeting with Russia’s top diplomat.
Russia, the main military backer of Syria’s leadership, has shifted its focus in recent months to facilitating a peaceful resolution to the Syrian civil war.
“Russia is capable of facilitating dialogue to achieve a political resolution,” al-Hariri was quoted as saying in comments carried by Russian state news agency TASS.
He expressed hope that his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, would expedite the pursuit for a political resolution, the agency reported.
Russia and Syrian opposition-supporter Turkey clinched a pivotal peace deal in September to prevent Syrian state forces from invading the rebel stronghold Idlib near the Turkish border.
Turkey was on Saturday to host the leaders of Russia, France and Germany to discuss a range of efforts to resolve the Syrian conflict and restore peace in the war-torn country.