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UNITED NATIONS, January 18. /TASS/. The negotiations involving the parties to the Syrian conflict are due to take place on January 25 as planned, Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin told reporters on Monday.
According to him, the international community has done serious work to launch these talks. "They are due to be held, after all the work we have done," the diplomat said heading for a closed Security Council meeting.
During the meeting, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Syria Staffan de Mistura will brief Security Council members on preparations for launching the new round of the inter-Syrian dialogue.
Ahead of the meeting, Deputy Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN Peter Wilson pointed to the need to step up confidence-building measures and those aimed at maintaining positive attitude of the parties to the conflict. He noted that this would be difficult, adding that Staffan de Mistura was facing a difficult task.
The meeting is expected to discuss preparation of lists of the delegations of the opposition and terrorist groups that are to be compiled by Saudi Arabia and Jordan respectively. Besides, the participants may discuss the humanitarian situation in the besieged cities of Syria, which has commanded public attention recently. Several opposition groups earlier said that they would boycott the talks in Geneva if the situation did not improve. The attitude of the UN Security Council member-countries towards these demands varies. While the western countries consider them to be justified, others, including Russia and China, say that the negotiations should begin without preconditions.
According to UN Security Council Resolution 2254 passed on December 18, the transitional government should be formed in Syria and work on the new Constitution should begin within six months after the beginning of the talks. According to the new Constitution, "free and fair elections" should be held no later than within 18 months. The document also envisages that the ceasefire should come into effect immediately after the Syrian government and opposition begin the implementation of the process of political reforms.