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Diplomat notes shift in Syrian opposition’s stance on Assad's resignation

September 21, 2017, 8:32 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

The Russian diplomat has noted that the lack of a unified opposition platform makes progress in the talks on Syria very difficult

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UNITED NATIONS, September 20. /TASS/. The demand of the Syrian opposition for the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad remains in the past, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said in an interview with TASS.

According to him, this helps to consolidate the opposition for negotiations with the government.

"Part of the radical members took the sideline - that's good, because these are those people who opposed the start of negotiations with the Syrian government before the fate of President Assad is decided. Namely, they demanded that he should go as a precondition. Now this demand is a thing of the past," the diplomat said.

Answering the question whether consolidation of the opposition is possible by the next round of talks in Geneva, Gatilov noted that Moscow "very much relies on this and has called for it from the very start."

"Now we see signs that the Syrian opposition is making certain efforts to consolidate its negotiating platform, to consolidate the delegation," the deputy minister added.

"It was one of the stumbling blocks to start a meaningful work on the Syrian crisis settlement. The lack of a unified opposition platform makes such progress difficult," he said.

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