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Damascus determined to participate in intra-Syrian talks - Gatilov

January 14, 0:39 UTC+3 GENEVA
"At the same time, the Syrian government said that it had formed a delegation for the talks," the Russian deputy foreign minister said
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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov

© ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

GENEVA, January 14 /TASS/. Damascus is determined to participate in the intra-Syrian talks to be held in Geneva on January 25, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Wednesday.

"As we know, Damascus has not received any lists. At the same time, the Syrian government said that it had formed a delegation for the talks and that it was firmly determined to participate in the next round of intra-Syrian negotiations," the Russian deputy foreign minister said.

Some oppositionists will not support decisions on Syria if they are excluded from the talks, Gatilov said.

"(A meeting on) January 25 is on the agenda and (United Nations Secretary General’s special envoy on Syria) Staffan de MIstura continues to take efforts to get this process started," he said. "But to make it really comprehensive, objective and reflecting the position of the entire spectrum of the Syrian population, it is necessary to ensure that a corresponding delegation of the opposition is present in this issue as well."

"Otherwise it is hardly be hoped that the eventual decisions that might be taken during the negotiating process would be implemented by all the parties," the Russian diplomat stressed.

He said there was no need in the arrival of Syria support group countries' foreign ministers at the meeting in Geneva on January 25. "No I don't think there's a need in this. We didn't discuss the issue today," he said.

Commenting on his talks in Geneva with a number of representatives of the Syrian opposition, Gatilov said they were rather representative organizations having their own position and ready to take part in the negotiating process. "If, as they told us, they are excluded from the negotiating process they will not be able to support decision taken without their say," the Russian diplomat noted.

"They all said they were ready to take part in the negotiating process, so they demonstrated political will for participation," he added.

 It would be wrong to make the delivery of relief aid to the Syrian people dependent on the launch of intra-Syrian talks, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said.

"There were other aspects our partners pointed to, namely the necessity to establish measures of trust between the parties, first of all, it concerns a number of cities and settlements that are in blockade," he said. "We don’t doubt the topicality of this problem. We think that it is necessary to waste no time and organize the delivery of relief aid to people in these besieged Syrian settlements."

"But inking these two issues -the delivery of relief aid to the Syrian population and the start of the intra-Syrian talks - would be wrong and would in no way comply with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254," he said. "The resolution clearly says that the formation of a representative delegation of the Syrian opposition on a broad basis is a precondition for the talks to start.".

It would be wrong to make the delivery of relief aid to the Syrian people dependent on the launch of intra-Syrian talks, Gatilov said.

"There were other aspects our partners pointed to, namely the necessity to establish measures of trust between the parties, first of all, it concerns a number of cities and settlements that are in blockade," he said. "We don’t doubt the topicality of this problem. We think that it is necessary to waste no time and organize the delivery of relief aid to people in these besieged Syrian settlements."

"But inking these two issues -the delivery of relief aid to the Syrian population and the start of the intra-Syrian talks - would be wrong and would in no way comply with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254," he said. "The resolution clearly says that the formation of a representative delegation of the Syrian opposition on a broad basis is a precondition for the talks to start.".

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