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Russian diplomat notes ultimatums cause Syrian opposition to suffer defeats

March 24, 15:46 UTC+3 GENEVA

In April 2016 the HNC’s delegation in Geneva suspended its participation in the talks on the pretext of a disruption of truce near Aleppo

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Syria's main opposition delegation with High Negotiations Committee, HNC, at Syria peace talks in Geneva

Syria's main opposition delegation with High Negotiations Committee, HNC, at Syria peace talks in Geneva

© Fabrice Coffrini Pool Photo via AP

GENEVA, March 24. /TASS/. All ultimatums by the High Negotiations Committee over the situation on the ground have so far resulted in its defeats and loss of support from the population, Russia’s envoy to the UN office and other international organizations in Geneva, Aleksey Borodavkin, told TASS when asked about the worsening of the situation with the observance of truce.

"We have seen that more than once. We have heard the opposition make ultimatums, set preconditions and launch hysterical campaigns over military failures by the so-called armed opposition groups… But it would be appropriate to ask: what have they achieved? The answer is obvious: defeats on the ground, loss of support from the Syrian population and internal strife inside the HNC," he stated.

"Even foreign sponsors’ interest towards the HNC has been waning," Borodavkin said. "If the Riyadh opposition group remains capricious and keeps positioning itself as the main oppositional force, it should not be ruled out that they will find themselves overboard, on the sidelines of the negotiating process."

In April 2016 the HNC’s delegation in Geneva suspended its participation in negotiations on the pretext of a disruption of truce near Aleppo. At this round of talks the opposition blamed the government for a worsening of the situation on the outskirts of Damascus and in Homs Province. 

Syrian government confirms ready to discuss UN envoy’s agenda

Syrian government delegation confirmed at a meeting with the Russian diplomats that they had a constructive attitude towards the talks in Geneva and are ready to discuss the agenda suggested by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura:

"On March 22, we received the Syrian government delegation at the Russian diplomatic mission," Borodavkin said. "The Syrian partners have confirmed their constructive attitude to the talks and readiness to discuss simultaneously all the four issues on the agenda, namely government, constitution, elections and the fight against terrorism."

The Syrian government delegation was set to discuss the 12-item document proposed by the UN envoy, which outlines key solutions to the Syrian crisis.

"Those 12 items can be viewed as elements of Syria’s future constitution," the Russian diplomat said, noting that the Geneva talks should also focus "on joint efforts of the government and moderate opposition against terrorists of Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra."

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