2013-09-16 15:51:00

"Muslim Quartet" should increase role in Syria settlement - Lavrov

Moscow, September 16, Interfax - All countries of the "Muslim Quartet" must be involved in the search for a settlement of the Syrian conflict, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Russia welcomed the proposals for setting up the so-called "Muslim quartet" of negotiators, which is comprised of Egypt, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia, Lavrov said at a press conference after talks with his Egyptian counterpart Nabil Fahmy.

"I understand Saudi Arabia has somewhat distanced itself from this initiative shortly after it was launched. However, it is our deep conviction that it is critical - if the Syrian conflict is to be settled in a way that would make it stable and if it is to have a positive impact on the developments in the region, and not vice versa - it would be important to unite the efforts of the countries we have named: Egypt, as a major Arab nation, and Turkey and Iran, as major Mulsim, but not Arab countries, playing major roles in the region," Lavrov said.

"It is my deep conviction," he said, "that all of these countries, including Egypt, must be involved in efforts to forge a settlement."

"Without their position taken into account, without due attention given to their concerns, it would be difficult to forge a sustainable solution. Therefore, we welcome all of these countries' participation in the Geneva II conference, including Egypt," Lavrov said.