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Russia urges warring parties in Syria to hold talks without preconditions — diplomat

January 29, 14:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"Everyone should understand very well that a very important and I hope a turning point in the Syrian settlement has come in the sense of looking for compromise," Maria Zakharova has said
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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 29. /TASS/. Russia calls for Syria’s government and the opposition to hold negotiations without preconditions, and Moscow has information that the official Damascus and one opposition delegation are ready for such contacts, Russia’s Foreign Ministry official spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

"We have clear understanding and trustworthy information that the delegation of the Syrian government has arrived in Geneva and is in a close contact with the United Nations and experts working there," Zakharova said, adding that Russian experts are also working in Geneva.

Moscow has an understanding that "a group of representatives of the Syrian opposition formed after the Moscow and Cairo meetings is also ready for constructive cooperation and work."

"We see no preconditions set by them and they are fully ready to launch such a negotiating process on which a respective agreement has been reached," the Russian diplomat said.

Zakharova said Moscow has no information that the other opposition group formed in Riyadh has announced its readiness to begin the talks. "We hope such statements will follow."

"Everyone should understand very well that a very important and I hope a turning point in the Syrian settlement has come in the sense of looking for compromise and new ways to reach peaceful settlement," she said.

"In this respect, we call on all sides to actively participate in the work and give up setting preconditions in order to look for effective ways to reach settlement in the Syrian Arab Republic," she added.

UN official spokesman Ahmad Fawzi has told reporters that the much-anticipated Syrian peace talks "will start as planned," giving no further details about time and exact locations.

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