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Russian experts working on draft document on Syria proposed by de Mistura in Geneva

March 24, 17:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The draft document says that Syria should remain a secular state and that all sides in the conflict should respect the country’s unity and sovereignty
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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 24. /TASS/. Russian experts are working on the 12-point draft document on Syrian settlement prepared by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura in Geneva earlier today, Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday.

"I know that our experts are working with it [draft document]," Zakharova said.

Commenting on the importance of US State Secretary John Kerry’s visit to Russia in the context of Syrian settlement, Zakharova noted that "the turning point in Syrian settlement are not visits but rather a launch of full-format dialogue, constant uninterrupted work between Damascus and opposition, joint work on agreeing on the future of the country."

"The turning point is precisely this process. In order for it to proceed successfully and not be disrupted, we maintain dialogue with US as co-chair of International Syria Support Group, as well as with other members of this group," she concluded.

An informed source told TASS earlier on Thursday that the 12-point document prepared by de Mistura after the round of inter-Syrian talks in Geneva was based on proposals of delegations of the Syrian government and opposition’s "Riyadh group" and "Moscow-Cairo group," adding that the document will lay the basis for future negotiations.

"Yes, there is such a document. It is prepared on the basis of documents handed to de Mistura by the delegations of the government, ‘Riyadh group’ and ‘Moscow-Cairo group’. It lists the principles of launching the negotiations process in detail," the source said.

The draft document says that Syria should remain a secular state and that all sides in the conflict should respect the country’s unity and sovereignty. The participants in the talks will also be proposed to make a statement on inadmissibility of foreign mercenaries in Syria, to call on all countries to refrain from supporting terrorists and to agree that the Syrian government holds an exclusive right to use arms.

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