MOSCOW Aug 9 Russia said it would take part in
planned talks in Tehran about the Syria crisis on Thursday and
would repeat its calls for an end to violence and a political
dialogue, but indicated that preparations for the forum had been
In a statement on Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry said
Russia would be represented by its ambassador to Iran, Levan
Dzhagaryan, "if the meeting in Tehran really takes place".
It said Russia had received an invitation but that plans to
hold the meeting on Thursday meant "time for the necessary
preparations is very short".
The Foreign Ministry declined to comment further on
"Naturally, we intend to firmly pursue our line (calling
for) an immediate end to bloodshed and the suffering of the
civilian population, as well as for achieving a peaceful
resolution in the interest of all Syrians through a broad
political dialogue," the statement said.
Russia has shielded Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from
concerted pressure by joining China in blocking three
Western-backed United Nations Security Council resolutions aimed
to end 17 months of bloodshed, including one last month that
would have threatened the government with sanctions.
Russia says it is not propping up Assad and would accept his
exit from power in a political transition decided by the Syrian
people, but that his departure must not be a precondition and he
must not be pushed out by external forces, including the