November 21, 2017 / 8:27 AM / 4 months ago

Russia says retreat of Syrian opposition figures good for peace

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Moscow believes that resignation of Syrian opposition figures such as Riyad Hijab will help unite Syria’s internal and external opposition on a more “constructive platform”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray Caso in Moscow, Russia November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Hijab, the head of the Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) resigned on Monday, nearly two years after he was picked to chair the Saudi-backed umbrella group that brings together the armed and political opposition to President Bashar al-Assad.

“The retreat of radically minded opposition figures from playing the main role will make it possible to unite this motley opposition - internal and external - on a more reasonable, realistic and constructive platform,” Russia’s Rossiya 24 state television showed Lavrov saying at a news briefing.

“We will support the efforts made by Saudi Arabia in this respect.”

Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Alison Williams

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