Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Wednesday Russia's western partners must pressure the Syrian opposition to get involved in political efforts to resolve the crisis in Syria.
Gatilov said the opposition participation was particularly important now that the Syrian government had officially announced its participation in an upcoming international conference on the crisis.
In an interview published by Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency on Wednesday, Gatilov said that the ball is now in the West's court, and that they are expected to actively work to convince their opposition partners to enter negotiations.
He added that Moscow is working to convince Syrian authorities to adopt a serious position regarding participation in the international conference, but that Russia doesn't intend to pressure the Syrian government to enter any negotiations if their results are predetermined.
Gatilov noted that the Syrian opposition has yet to announce who will represent it at the conference. On the contrary, he noted, they have said they will not attend until they receive weapons and achieve military superiority, and that as yet there is no information on the position they will adopt in negotiations.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer