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Diplomat warns attempts to cheat during intra-Syrian talks may affect political process

February 22, 11:10 UTC+3

Ensuring proper representation of the Syrian opposition is essential, the Russian diplomat has noted

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© Alexander Scherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, February 22. /TASS/. Attempts to cheat at intra-Syrian talks in Geneva will have a bad effect on the political process, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has told a news briefing.

"We are certain that the positive experience gained in Astana will be capitalized on in the future," Zakharova said. "We expect that the talks in Geneva due later this week will end the dangerous prolonged pause in the intra-Syrian dialogue," she stated.

"Ensuring proper representation of the Syrian opposition, as it is required by the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2254, is a precondition of such a dialogue and its productiveness."

"Any attempts to cheat somewhere to cater to the interests of those who do not wish to see peace and unity in Syria will have a bad effect on the continuity and productiveness of the political process," Zakharova said. 

Sergei Vershinin, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s special envoy for the Middle East settlement and head of the Middle East and North Africa department, will represent Moscow at the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, the ministry’s spokeswoman announced:

"I can confirm that Mr. Vershinin will be there."

The talks between the Syrian government and opposition representatives will start in Geneva on February 23.

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