MOSCOW- Russian President Vladimir Putin says that the Syrian government and opposition groups should be “forced” to start a dialogue.
He spoke Monday, the same day a Syrian opposition leader, Michel Kilo, met with Russia’s foreign minister.
Putin said that the dialogue Russia is helping facilitate is “more complicated and fine” that an armed solution to the conflict.
Syria needs a "peaceful solution", as Russian president Vladimir Putin said during a meeting with the Russian diplomats, underlining the urgency of a dialogue between the parts in conflict and the need to avoid a foreign intervention to restore a permanent peace in the country.
"I am convinced we must do all we can to help the parts to find a peaceful solution on all the themes at issue", the Head of the Kremlin said.
Putin is a supporter of Damascus, despite international pressure. "Only this - he added - may bring a long term solution and a stable development"
Putin said that the utmost efforts must be exerted to force all sides of the Syrian crisis to implement political solutions and to help launch comprehensive national dialogue, Syria`s state news agency SANA said Monday.
Syrian dissent Michel Kilo, who heads the Democratic Forum opposition group, said that he hopes Russia will play a positive role in “finding a peaceful solution to our crisis.”
Members of another opposition group, the Syrian National Council, are expected in Moscow for talks Wednesday.
Russia is Syria’s most important ally and protector and its main supplier of arms. The Russians have blocked the U.N.’s Security Council from taking strong, punitive action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad`s regime.