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Free Syrian Army refuses talks with Russia over crisis

October 26, 2015 at 10:56 am

The Free Syrian Army has rejected any form of cooperation or dialogue with Russia unless it stops its airstrikes against the rebel group’s sites in Syria and forces President Bashar Al-Assad to step down, a senior group member said.

Legal adviser and senior leader of the Free Syrian Army, Osama Abu Zeid, denied media reports that Russia had invited the FSA for dialogue.

“FSA did not receive any invitation for dialogue from Russia,” he said.

“The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent remarks about the FSA are inconsistent. Sometimes he says we do not exist, and sometimes he is willing to coordinate with us.”

According to Abu Zeid, the Russian government’s state of confusion is caused by the Syrian regime’s failed operations against the FSA across Syria.

On Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the Kremlin was ready to provide support for the Free Syrian Army, state news agency RIA reported.

The news agency reported some possible meetings between Russia and representatives of the FSA in the coming days in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

“If Russia is serious about dialogue with the FSA, it should force regime President Bashar Al-Assad to leave,” he added.

Russia has been waging airstrikes against “terrorist” sites in Syria since the end of September; the United States insists the Russian airplanes target rebel sites including those of the FSA.