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Lavrov: Syrian opposition should leave regions with terrorist positions

April 25, 12:39 UTC+3
According to the minister, the United States has been refusing to meet its commitments for two months already on taking away the Syrian opposition cooperating with it from the terrorists’ positions
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© Sergei Savostianov/TASS

MOSCOW, April 25. /TASS/. Syrian opposition should leave positions of terrorists and disassociate itself from them if it wants to participate in the political process, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

"We agreed long ago that groups that found themselves on the positions of terrorists but that are not terrorists and want to participate in the political process, should leave the territories of terrorist positions," Lavrov said. "They should disassociate and physically leave these positions," he added.

According to the minister, the United States has been refusing to meet its commitments for two months already on taking away the Syrian opposition cooperating with it from the terrorists’ positions.

"We agreed with the Americans that they would use their influence on these 'good opposition members' and will take them out of there so that no one prevents to destroy the terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra. The firm promise of the US that it gave to us to carry out this demarcation has not been fulfilled for two months already," he said.

The diplomat pointed out that Turkey has a decisive influence on the Riyadh group of the Syrian opposition

"In order to come to terms over six months it is necessary not to slam the door and dig in heels, as several delegates of the so-called Riyadh group have done. Although, Turkey has a decisive influence on them, it’s no secret," the foreign minister said commenting on the progress of the intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Russia preparing report to UN Security Council on expanding list of terrorists in Syria

Lavrov has also noted that Russia is preparing a report to the Security Council of the United Nations with the aim of expanding the list of terrorists in Syria.

"We are currently collecting information that Jebhat al-Nusra [terrorist organization banned in Russia] subjugates groups that seemed to have declared truce and readiness to join ceasefire," Lavrov said adding that "we will summarize facts and present them to UN Security Council to adjust terrorist lists."

Geneva talks on Syria continue, no pause

According to the top diplomat, the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva are ongoing and there is no pause despite the announcement that some members of the Riyadh group have left the Swiss city.

"The situation at talks in Geneva could have been much better if one opposition delegation had not left Geneva as they say temporarily," he said. "The talks are continuing, and there is no pause."

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura regularly meets with the delegation of the government as well as that of the so-called Moscow-Cairo platform, the Hmeimim group and some independent opposition members, he added.

Lavrov reminded that the UN Security Council agreed on a six-month deadline for drafting Syria’s new constitution in line with the proposal of the International Syria Support Group. "We all want this process to take less time," he stressed.

"But to reach an agreement within six months or even five or four months one should not slam the door and strike an attitude as some delegates of the so-called Riyadh group did, although Turkey has a decisive influence on them, as everyone knows well," Lavrov said.

"So one should not come for talks with ultimatums but should sit down at the negotiating table and reach an agreement," he said.

The representatives of the Riyadh group, the High Negotiations Committee, who announced that they take a pause at the Geneva talks on April 18, fail to meet the demands of the UN, he added.

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