The head of Syria’s main opposition group abroad says the country is in the midst of a revolution.
Abdel Basset Sayda of the Syrian National Council has been in Moscow for talks on the international effort to seek a political solution and an end to the violence.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said he wanted to clarify Moscow’s position once more, and to know whether the divided opposition factions could unite and take part in dialogue with the government.
The Syrian National Council leader compared the situation in Syria to that in Russia when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
“We in Syria, the whole of Syrian society, we want to break away from this totalitarian regime so we can move to a democratic state which will bring a proper national programme for Syria and Syrians,” Abdel Basset Sayda said.
Despite international criticism, Russia has blocked UN resolutions condemning repression by the Damascus regime.
Syrian activists say government forces have renewed their bombardments of rebel areas.
China and Iraq have backed Kofi Annan’s call to include Iran in international talks on Syria, despite strong Western opposition.
After a lightning diplomatic tour the UN envoy is reporting back to the Security Council.
Washington has reacted sceptically. The White House has said no-one with a straight face could argue that Iran has had a positive impact.