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Senior Russian diplomat hopes Syrian sides agree on all important issues

February 13, 2014, 0:44 UTC+3 GENEVA
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GENEVA, February 12, 23:43 /ITAR-TASS/. The fight against terrorism and the establishment of a transitional governing body in Syria are equally important issues, and Moscow hopes the parties to the Syrian conflict can resolve both of them, a senior Russian diplomat said Wednesday.

“I think the way out of the deadlock lies in both sides’ political will to find a mutually acceptable solution,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said after talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.

“This is mentioned in the Geneva Communique, where it is written that all decisions should be made on a mutually acceptable basis,” Gatilov added. “Both issues are equally important. I think the sides will be able to resolve them during the talks.”

The parties to the Syrian conflict resumed talks on February 10, starting the second round of the Geneva-2 international peace conference on Syria, whose first round ended January 31 with no substantive results.

Geneva-2, organized by Russia and the United States, seeks to negotiate a solution to the Syrian crisis which has claimed over 100,000 lives and displaced millions since its start in 2011.

The Geneva Communique was adopted on June 30, 2012 at a conference of an “action group” on Syria in Geneva. That conference is now commonly referred to as “Geneva-1.” Geneva-2 is its logical continuation.

The position of the Syrian government delegation is that the fight against terrorism should be discussed at the current talks first and a transitional governing body later. But the Syrian opposition apparently believes the transitional government issue should top the discussion agenda.

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