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Syrian talks should not depend on preliminary conditions — Russian envoy

August 10, 2016, 9:30 UTC+3

Russia's UN envoy the previous intra-Syrian talks yielded no result due to the non-constructive stance of the opposition

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UNITED NATIONS, August 10. /TASS/. Russia hopes for the improvement of the situation around Syria’s Aleppo but is confident that resumption of talks between Damascus and the opposition should not be made dependent on any preliminary conditions, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Tuesday.

"I do hope that the situation in and around Aleppo will improve but again, we do not believe that there need to be any preconditions [for the resumption of talks - TASS]," he said after a closed-door meeting of the United Nations Security Council attended by United Nations Syria Envoy Sraffan de Mistura.

The Russian diplomat said that the United Nations envoy "said very clearly that he doesn't believe in preconditions and one of the reasons is that those who do not want to have any talks may be trying to stir trouble every time the talks are about to happen."

"The most important thing is finally to have those who believe to be serious opposition figures to come to the negotiating table seriously, to sit at the same table with the Syrian government and to start [to] discuss specifically what needs to be done to end the conflict·," Churkin underscored.

The previous round of intra-Syrian talks was held in Geneva from April 13 to 27 and ended with no major results. De Mistura said earlier he hopes talks between Damascus and the opposition would be resumed in August.

According to the Russian United Nations envoy, the intra-Syrian talks yielded no result due to the non-constructive stance of the opposition. "So far the big problem was that the so-called Supreme Negotiating Committee, or whatever they call themselves, they were coming to the talks without saying anything, you know. They were just saying "Assad must go" and this is not a negotiating position," he said.

He also expressed the hope that after today’s talks between Russian and Turkish Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ankara will finally see the necessity to invite the Syrian Kurds to the process of the Syrian settlement. He noted however that he does not know whether this subject had been discussed by the two presidents at their meeting in Russia’s St. Petersburg. But "Turkey needs to understand that including the Kurds in the discussion is one of the things which should be important in terms of territorial integrity of Syria and Turkey has a vested interest in the territorial integrity of Syria," he underscored.

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