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Churkin missing chance to start dialogue btw Syrian govt, opposition unpardonable mistake

January 16, 2015, 4:30 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
The Moscow discussion floor offers a unique chance to launch a direct dialogue of equal partners between Syrian government representatives and the opposition
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© ЕРА/ANDREW GOMBERT

UNITED NATIONS, January 16. /TASS/. Talks between various political factions in Syria scheduled for the end of this month in Moscow offer a unique chance for putting a dialogue between the government and the opposition on track, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin said on Thursday.

To miss this chance would mean to make an unpardonable mistake, he said.

“The Moscow discussion floor offers a unique chance to launch a direct dialogue of equal partners between Syrian government representatives and the opposition and to miss it would be an unpardonable mistake from the point of view of an earliest possible termination of the fratricidal conflict in Syria and consolidation of all the healthy forces of society for struggle with international terrorism and violent extremism,” Churkin said in the course of a debate in the Security Council.

The inter-Syrian consultations due to take place in Moscow from January 26 through January 29 testify to Russia’s practical contribution to the international efforts towards bringing about a peace process in Syria, he said.

“The objective of the forthcoming meetings is to fertilize the soil for launch an inclusive inter-Syrian dialogue without preconditions on the principles of the June 30, 2012, Geneva communiquй,” Churkin said.

Moscow is not regarding the consultations as a one-time event. “It should have concrete practical results as the only way to settling the conflict in Syria lies through dialogue,” Churkin said.

He issued a warning in this connection that the factions, which decide to ignore the Moscow consultations, “will lose their positions in the entire process of negotiations.”

“It’s quite obvious that staking on the use of force has outlived itself and the forces that continue sticking to such solutions only multiply the suffering of the Syrian people,” Churkin said.

In the course of the debate at the Security Council, ambassadors from a number of countries, including Saudi Arabia, spoke out in favor of Russia’s effort to put on track a dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition.

Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munos Valenzuela, who chaired the meeting, also praised Russia’s initiative. He expressed the hope that all the political forces in Syria would take part in the consultations and would use the opportunity to tap points of contact and a way out of the crisis.

Assistant to the UN Secretary General for Political Affairs, Jens Toyberg-Frandzen said the special envoy for Syrian, Staffan de Mistura was closely watching preparations for the consultations in Moscow.

Specifically, De Mistura was expected to go to Damascus in the coming few days to continue talks on a ceasefire in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, as he believed this could be the starting point of the efforts to put the conflict between the government and the irreconcilable opposition under freeze, Toyberg-Frandzen said.

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