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Conflict settlement in Syria to be protracted and knotty, says Russian diplomat

January 30, 2015, 8:37 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

"Russia’s efforts to assist the settlement of the Syrian conflict are absolutely transparent," Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said

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Russia's Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin

Russia's Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin


THE UNITED NATIONS, January 29. /TASS/. Peace settlement of the conflict in Syria will be a protracted and knotty process and it will require supplementary efforts so that the country’s government and the opposition could work out a fruitful dialogue format, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said on Thursday.

A round of inter-Syrian consultations ended in Moscow on Thursday, with the sides signing the so-called Moscow Guidelines — the parameters of settlement of the conflict that postulate the maintenance of Syria’s sovereignty, unity, independence, and territorial integrity, as well as fighting with terrorism.

"Russia’s efforts to assist the settlement of the Syrian conflict are absolutely transparent," Churkin said. "We’re always open for collaboration on the basis of UN Charter principles with anyone who wishes to help launch the process of peace settlement."

"Everyone should realize that the process will be protracted and knotty and will require supplementary efforts to shape up a really fruitful dialogue format," he said.

The talks in Moscow brought together a governmental delegation and more than thirty representatives of various oppositionist parties and movements, except the so-called National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces — a major grouping based in Istanbul and heavily relying on Western finances. It refused to delegate its representatives to the meeting.

"We don’t make a big problem out of it," Churkin said, "Efforts to promulgate the all-nation dialogue will continue, and not only by Russia."

Russia sees added value in the steps undertaken by the Egyptian leadership, he said. "We’ll welcome the efforts that may be taken by any other countries, too, if they aim to create optimal conditions for inclusive dialogue, in the format of which the Syrians will reach all agreements on their own."

Churkin said that Moscow also saw potential in the mission of the Stephane de Mistura, the UN Secretary General’s special envoy. "He is promulgating a whole range of interesting ideas that certainly require coordination with all the parties," he said.

As of December, De Mistura has been holding consultations on his plan for local reconciliations in Syria, which according to his concept might pave the road to settlement of the conflict between the government and the opposition. At present, De Mistura is trying to stop combat actions in Syria’s largest city, Aleppo.

On the face of it, officials at the UN Secretariat made rather reserved comments on the Moscow round of consultations, saying they would watch how the dialogue would continue.

Stephane Dujarric, the official spokesperson for the Secretary General said the discussion in Moscow had most obviously produced no tangible results but the Office of the Special Envoy would continue watching the situation closely and would join the talks if need be.

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