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Lavrov: Jayish al-Islam, Ahrar al-Sham groups practise inhumane IS approaches

April 22, 12:31 UTC+3
The foreign minister also commented on the decision of the Riyadh group, the High Negotiations Committee, to suspend participation in the intra-Syrian dialogue in Geneva
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© AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool, File

YEREVAN, April 22. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused the Jayish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham groups of sharing inhumane approaches of the Islamic State terrorist group in practice. 

The foreign minister also commented on the decision of the Riyadh group, the High Negotiations Committee, to suspend participation in the intra-Syrian dialogue in Geneva.

"I believe this is the process of revitalizing the Syrian talks. If those who rudely refuse to acknowledge the basis of concept approved by the UN Security Council leave the negotiations platform, then no one loses except for them," Lavrov stressed. "If they want to ensure their participation only through ultimatums which everyone should accept, then these are their problems," he said.

The HNC is not the only opposition group, Lavrov said. Several people have already left the group saying that it is ruled by radicals, including the leaders of Jaysh al-Islam, he added. "Jaysh al-Islam more and more proves that we were right when seeking to include them to the list of terrorists. For the sake of the quickest truce we reached a compromise and gave them a chance."

"These organizations like Ahrar ash-Sham in fact actively prove that they fully share anti-human approaches of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra groups," Lavrov said.

Russia will work only with those who are ready to think about the future of their own country rather than about their political career, he stressed.

The Riyadh-backed HNC, which unites political and military opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, showed that the current round of talks is unlikely to last for long. On April 18, the group announced that it takes a pause at the Geneva talks. Some HNC delegates left Switzerland but the others remained in Geneva to continue taking part in technical consultations.

The HNC delegation members said the conditions for their return to negotiations were lifting the siege of Syrian cities, stopping shelling attacks carried out by the government forces and the release of prisoners. The group has rejected the proposal of UN’s Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura that the text of Syria’s new constitution should be drawn up in Geneva. They want this effort to be conducted in Syria and only after Assad steps down.

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