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Kremlin denies Russia can be blamed for suspension of intra-Syrian talks

February 08, 13:15 UTC+3
Russia's presidential spokesman stressed that terrorist groups should not be represented at the talks
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 Flags in front of the Palais des Nations during Syria peace talks, Switzerland, 02 February

Flags in front of the Palais des Nations during Syria peace talks, Switzerland, 02 February


MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Russia is not to blame for the suspension of intra-Syrian talks, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.

"Russia can hardly be held responsible for the suspension of negotiations, for bearing some imaginary blame for that," Peskov said.

He recalled that Russia was providing support for the Syrian army in its offensive operations against terrorist groups.

"Terrorist groups are not taking part in these [intra-Syrian] talks and they should not take part in them," Peskov said. He added that nobody questioned the feasibility of further struggle against these (terrorist) groups.

Intra-Syrian talks on the settlement of the conflict in the country was scheduled to begin in Geneva in the first days of February. However, several days later they were postponed till the end of the month. UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura expressed the hope that contacts between the parties to the Syrian conflict would resume in Geneva on February 25. Some Western countries claimed that the Russia-supported offensive of the Syrian army was upsetting the chances of a peace settlement.

Peskov earlier replied to claims by some Western politicians Moscow’s support for the forces loyal to Bashar Assad made peace political settlement impossible. He said that Moscow regarded such claims as wrong and could not agree with them.

"Russia provides support for the legitimate leadership of the Syrian Arab Republic in the struggle with terrorism and terrorist groups and at the same time pushes ahead with efforts along the political and diplomatic track," Peskov said then. "We are aware that the process of negotiations will be uneasy and time-consuming. But we hope that it will continue this way or another.".

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