UNITED NATIONS, September 26 (Itar-Tass) - The Syrian opposition is not demonstrating unity even in the process of preparations for the second international conference in Geneva, not to mention willingness to take part in Geneva 2. Chairman of the Committee for International Affairs of the Federation Council upper house of Russia’s parliament Mikhail Margelov said on Wednesday in an interview with Itar-Tass. He is in New York on a visit.
A number of Syrian Islamist groups, including the Free Syrian Army (FSA), on Wednesday refused to recognize the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NCR), which is based abroad. The NCR this week has announced its readiness to participate in the Geneva 2 conference.
According to Margelov, disunity in the ranks of the Syrian opposition is one of the reasons for the failure of efforts to bring the Syrian conflict sides to the conference table. “It is extremely difficult to convene at Geneva 2 representatives of at least three parties: the international community, the Syrian regime and the opposition. The latter is not united so far, even within the framework of preparations for Geneva 2. All this, of course, is alarming,” he said.
However, Margelov pointed out there is “a light at the end of the tunnel,” which has appeared in the process of negotiations of the Russian Federation and the United States. “I really hope that our American partners will be pragmatically and calmly working towards finding a solution to the Syrian problem together with us, the more so are the Geneva 2 co-sponsors. “This is no place for a tug of war,” said the FC member.
Commenting on a recent statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about the possibility of calling the conference in October, he urged to refrain from declaring a specific timeframe. “Before announcing the possible dates for Geneva 2, first of all, we need our partners, who interact with the Syrian opposition more closer than we, to show a political skill and try to sew together the “patchwork quilt” of the Syrian opposition, bringing it to a certain unity, so that it could act as a single negotiating party at the conference,” stressed the official.