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Russia to further assist Syrian army in fighting terrorists — diplomat

April 18, 2016, 19:39 UTC+3

In his speech during the UN Security Council debate Vitaly Churkin also called for involving the Syrian Kurds in the negotiations on the Syrian conflict settlement

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

UNITED NATIONS, April 18. /TASS/. Russia will continue providing assistance to the Syrian army in combating the Islamic State (IS) and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said at the UN Security Council on Monday. In his speech during the UN Security Council debate he also called for involving the Syrian Kurds in the negotiations on the Syrian conflict settlement that are underway in Geneva, Switzerland.

"We will continue to provide assistance to the Syrian army in combating the groups of international terrorists from IS and Jabhat al-Nusra," he said. The diplomat added that the ceasefire regime in Syria and the dialogue between the government and opposition that is underway in Geneva under the UN auspices should be used for attaining a lasting political settlement of the conflict. According to him, Moscow attaches major importance to the activity of the established in Geneva two target groups - on ceasefire and on humanitarian access.

The Russian ambassador to the UN also said that "ensuring a lasting and efficient intra-Syrian dialogue in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva communique of 2012, the decision of the International Syria Support Group and Resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council" is a guarantee of success of the peaceful settlement efforts." "This dialogue should involve all the strata of Syrian society that have not besmirched their reputation with terrorist activity, including the Kurds, of course," the diplomat said. He said again that "it is necessary to make the opposition delegation in Geneva truly representative" and that "it is inadmissible to set forth preliminary conditions to one’s participation in the talks."

Previously, participants in the Geneva intra-Syrian talks presented a number of proposals on Syria’s political system in the transitional period to United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura. Thus, a representative of the Cairo group of the opposition, Jihad Makdissi, said that a transitional body for the settlement of the situation in Syria should include five components. According to the Moscow-Cairo opposition group, these components are a transitional national council, a transitional government, a supreme council for justice, a national military council and a supreme reconciliation commission. Other opposition groups however have not announced details of their plans for the country’s future system. The second round of intra-Syrian talks started on April 13.

A ceasefire regime brokered by Russia and the United States on February 22 officially came into effect in Syria at midnight Damascus time on February 27. This does not cover terrorist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, both outlawed in Russia, and other groups recognized as terrorist by the United Nations Security Council.

An hour before the ceasefire came into force, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution in support cessation of hostilities in Syria. The document was initiated by Russia and the United States and won support from all the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council.

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