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Start of talks on Syria in Geneva to be assessed at meeting in Munich on February 11

January 28, 14:58 UTC+3
The meeting will provide an opportunity to make decisions in the collective format with participation of all external players that have influence on different sides of the conflict in Syria
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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 28. /TASS/. Moscow hopes that progress will be made in coordinating lists of terrorist organization at the meeting on Syria on February 11, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and special presidential representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov said on Thursday.

"Different countries consider different organizations as terrorist, and these assessments often vary. That’s why there are different assessments and approaches. For now there is no universal definition of terrorist organizations in Syria, I mean that consensus among all members [of Vienna group] has not been reached yet. This is a hard fact," Bogdanov said.

Answering a question on whether Moscow hopes for progress in coordinating lists of terrorist organizations at the upcoming meeting in Munich, the diplomat said: "We hope [that progress will be made] since that’s why we will gather."

"I think that this meeting is very relevant and important to assess how talks in Geneva planned for tomorrow have started, what is the first impression of [UN Special Envoy for Syria] Staffan de Mistura who was appointed as main organizer of this process by UN Security Council Resolution 2554," Bogdanov noted.

The diplomat said the Munich meeting will provide an opportunity to analyze the situation and make decisions in the collective format with participation of all external players that have influence on different sides of the conflict in Syria. "Among issues high on the agenda are decisions on how to contribute to and promote political process, how to effectively fight against terrorism and solve humanitarian problems," he continued. It is also planned to discuss promoting political process in accordance with the documents adopted "in Vienna format" and UN Security Council Resolution 2254, Bogdanov stressed.

Negotiations on Syria "in Vienna format" will be held in Munich on February 11 ahead of Munich Security Conference. On January 29 inter-Syrian talks are expected to be launched in Geneva. Staffan de Mistura already sent invitations to participants in the upcoming meeting. On Monday de Mistura said that negotiations will last for six months but the first stage will take two-three weeks.

The last round of talks on Syria "in Vienna format" were held in the Austrian capital on November 14. Among participants were representatives of delegations from 19 countries, including Russia, United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq, Italy, Egypt, United Kingdom, Germany, Lebanon, Qatar, Iran, France, China, United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Oman, along with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura and representatives of the League of Arab States.

On 18 December 2015 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2254 in support of the Vienna agreements on the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Syria envisages participation of the Syrian opposition and representatives of government in the talks that are due to start in January 2016. The final goals of negotiations are defined as establishing the transitional government, adopting a constitution and holding election in the next 18 months.

The document does not mention Syrian President Bashar Assad whose future remains the main stumbling block. The resolution states that the Syrian people should decide the future of the country.

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