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Moscow wants meeting on Syrian settlement held in Vienna, not New York — diplomat

December 09, 2015, 8:46 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
Holding "one meeting after another" without implementing the already reached agreements may harm the Vienna process, Russia's UN envoy noted
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Russia’s Permanent Representaive to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin

Russia’s Permanent Representaive to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin

©  AP Photo/Richard Drew, archive

UNITED NATIONS, December 9. /TASS/. The idea to hold an international meeting on Syria on December 18 is premature, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Organization Vitaly Churkin told journalists on Wednesday.

"In our opinion, if the meeting is held in the nearest future, it should take place in Vienna in order to continue this process and in a sense keep a distance from the hectic atmosphere of New York," Churkin said.

Holding "one meeting after another" without implementing the already reached agreements may harm the Vienna process, the diplomat continued. Churkin reminded that at the meeting in the Austrian capital on November 14, the task was to coordinate two lists - one with uncompromising terrorist organizations and another with opposition figures that will sit at the negotiations table with the Syrian government.

"This has not been done yet. These two lists have not been coordinated yet. In our view, it is premature to hold the third meeting since several members of this Vienna Group - Syria Support Group - can get used to talking and will continue talking distracted from real deeds. We need real progress, it is necessary to really move toward the start of negotiations, toward the launch of political settlement in Syria," the ambassador stressed.

On Tuesday US State Secretary John Kerry announced plans to hold a meeting of the International Syria Support Group in New York on December 18 and said that it will depend on the results of the conference of the Syrian opposition in Riyadh. The possible result could be forming the delegation for talks with the Syrian government.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon supported the US proposal to gather key international and regional players for talks on Syria in New York and said he is ready to take part in the meeting. The meeting will most likely take place in the UN headquarters.

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