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Russian, Syrian diplomats discuss political settlement in Syria

April 21, 2014, 23:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW
1 pages in this article

MOSCOW, April 21, /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met with Syrian Ambassador in Moscow Riyad Haddad on Monday, April 21, to discuss political settlement in Syria.

The diplomats discussed “various aspects of the political settlement in Syria and the situation in the region in general” as well as “pressing issues of Russian-Syrian relations”.

Russia calls for the resumption of inclusive Syria talks with the participation of all political forces in society in order to ensure peace on the basis of equal rights for representatives of all national and confessional groups.

“We are committed only to a peaceful settlement in full compliance with the decisions adopted by the U.N. Security Council and approved at the Geneva process which demanded that the support to terrorists be stopped and that neighboring countries refrain from actions connected with provocations against the chemical disarmament in Syria,” Lavrov said.

Efforts to resume the talks have also been taken by the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, who has admitted there are serious difficulties in working out an agenda that would yield tangible results in the resolution of the conflict. He requested the assistance of the U.N. Security Council.

Brahimi urged the U.N. Security Council to show support for the Syrian talks to make their new round more productive. He said after a closed-door meeting of the Security Council on March 13, that the international community would like to continue the Geneva talks but needed the help and support of the Security Council to ensure that their new round is more productive than the previous two.

The international envoy briefed the Security Council on the progress achieved at the second round of the Geneva II international conference on Syria.

The second round of inter-Syrian talks ended officially in Geneva on February 15, and the parties are set to continue their discussions, but the date of the next round has yet to be agreed.

Brahimi said the agenda of the next round had been agreed and consisted of four points: violence and terrorism, a transitional governing body, national institutions, national reconciliation, and a national dialogue.

He said the last session of the second round was “as laborious as all the meetings we have had, but we agreed on an agenda for the next round when it does take place.”

Brahimi admitted that “these two rounds have not come out with very much” and stressed that “failure is always staring at us in the face. As far as the United Nations is concerned we will certainly not leave one stone unturned if there is a possibility to move forward. If there isn’t, we will say so.”

Brahihim had a telephone conversation with Lavrov on April 21 to discuss “the Syrian settlement and peaceful solutions to the crisis” in Syria, the Foreign Ministry said. “Lavrov stressed the need for resuming the talks between the delegations of the Syrian government and the opposition,” it said.

The first two rounds of the Geneva II conference were held in late January and early February 2014 but yielded no result. Representatives of the Syrian government and the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces met at the same table for the first time in three years since the start of civil war in their country but failed to bridge the gap in their positions.

The goal of the international conference on Syria is to achieve a political solution to the three-year-long conflict through a comprehensive agreement between the two sides for the full implementation of the Geneva communique, adopted after the first international meeting on the issue on June 30, 2012, and since endorsed by the U.N. Security Council.

The communique lays out key steps in a process to end the violence. Among others, it calls for the establishment of a transitional governing body, with full executive powers and made up by members of the present Government and the opposition and other groups, as part of agreed principles and guidelines for a Syrian-led political transition.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for renewed political efforts to end what he described as the biggest humanitarian and security crisis in the world.

He believes that “only a political solution will end the nightmare of the Syrian people.” Ban urged Russia and the United States, as the initiating states of the Geneva Conference on Syria, “to take clear steps to re-energise the Geneva process”.

The basis of those talks is full implementation of an action plan adopted in the Geneva Communique of 2012, the first international conference on the conflict, which calls for setting up a transitional government that should then lead the country to free and fair elections.

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