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Muallem: UN should only approve what Syrians agree on

January 24, 2014, 22:21 UTC+3 GENEVA
The international community “should only approve what Syrians themselves agree on between them rather than what has been imposed on them from outside,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said
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© AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

GENEVA, January 24, /ITAR-TASS/. The international community “should only approve what Syrians themselves agree on between them rather than what has been imposed on them from outside,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said at the first meeting in the run-up to intra-Syrian talks with mediation of United Nations and Arab League special Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.

Muallem said the Syrian government delegation is “set for serious talks but does not see a similar approach with the opposing side.” Earlier, he warned Brahimi that the government delegation would “leave Geneva unless serious working meetings start Saturday.”

The Syrian government delegation led by Muallem and the opposition delegation held separate meetings with Brahimi on Friday. Brahimi said after the talks that the Syrian opposing sides would “meet in one room” on Saturday. Meanwhile, Reuters cited an unnamed Syrian opposition representative that the meeting would be held at 0900 GMT Saturday.

Brahimi said there are firm guarantees that the Syrian government and opposition would sit down to the negotiating table, adding that the international community’s common goal was to save Syria.

The Geneva-2 international peace conference on Syria opened January 22 in Montreux, Switzerland, and continues in Geneva. It seeks to find a solution to the Syrian crisis, which has claimed over 100,000 lives and displaced millions since its start in 2011. The forum is expected to be followed by direct talks between the Syrian government and opposition.

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