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Lavrov urges de Mistura to invite all Syrians to Geneva talks

June 29, 2016, 19:20 UTC+3 PARIS

The Russian foreign minister urges not be hostage to whims of separate representatives of the Syrian opposition

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PARIS, June 29. /TASS/. Moscow is calling on the United Nations secretary general’s special envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura to invite to talks in Geneva all Syrians and not be hostage to "whims of separate representatives of the Syrian opposition," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday.

"I can’t say that the meeting of the Syria Support Group in Vienna in May was futile, it registered very important agreements on how to approach the solution of the problem of violations of the regime of cessation of hostilities," Lavrov said.

"The meeting in essence also registered pledges by the UN secretary general’s special envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura to convene a regular round of talks between the Syrian sides until the end of May," he said.

"Then De Mistura postponed the round to June, now the talk is about July and August 1 is also mentioned," the minister continued. "August 1 is mentioned by those who say that in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254, the first stage of the political process that is to end with formation between the government and opposition of a joint body should approximately take six months," he said.

In his words, if the count starts in late January, this will be late July - early August.

"But over that period, only one round of talks took place, while all the other attempts to convene talks faced ultimatums of the so-called High Negotiations Committee," the Russian foreign minister stated. "They do not want to implement UN Security Council resolutions or Syria Support Group agreements, but only demand resignation of [President] Bashar Assad, which is not envisioned by any resolutions."

Lavrov recalled again that the fate of Syria may only be solved by Syrians themselves, as it is registered in the UN Security Council resolution, but for that it is necessary "to sit down and start talking."

"I don’t want to criticize Staffan de Mistura. He and his colleagues are in a difficult situation, but we insistently recommend them to use the powers they were vested with by the UN Security Council, and invite all Syrians regularly to the talks. If someone says they can’t participate, as there is a vision of their own different from what is written down in the UN Security Council resolutions, then let them not come," he said.

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