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Russia calls for involving internal opposition in inter-Syrian talks

January 31, 2014, 19:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"We note constructive mediation efforts by U.N./LAS Special Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi," Russia's Foreign Ministry said
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Louay Safi (L), spokesperson for the Syrian National Coalition, briefs the media, at the European headquarters of the United Nations, in Geneva

Louay Safi (L), spokesperson for the Syrian National Coalition, briefs the media, at the European headquarters of the United Nations, in Geneva

© EPA/MARTIAL TREZZINI

MOSCOW, January 31. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow stresses the importance of involving the internal opposition in the inter-Syrian talks in Geneva, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Friday.

“It is important that despite the considerable disagreements the parties will be able to sit down to the negotiating table. They are starting discussions on issues related to reconciliation, the humanitarian situation in different areas of the country, the exchange of prisoners and detained people,” the ministry said.

“We note constructive mediation efforts by U.N./LAS Special Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi. We believe that discussions on these issues will allow the parties to win trust and find mutually acceptable decisions on the future of the Syrian state,” the ministry said.

The inter-Syrian political process is based on the Geneva Communiqué of June 30, 2012. The Communiqué implies that sovereignty and territorial integrity should be the major principles in Syria’s settlement and the rights and security of all ethnic and religious groups should be ensured, the ministry said.

“The priority task is to join efforts of all Syrians in order to fight the terrorist threat, which has a serious destabilizing impact on the situation in the country and in the entire region. The G8 leaders agreed on this at the summit in Lough Erne in June 2013,” the ministry said.

“Key external players should play a considerable role in the Syrian settlement. They should pursue a consolidated policy to convince the government and the opposition to reach compromises on the existing problems. It is important to expand the opposition delegation and involve the internal opposition,” the ministry said.

The first round of inter-Syrian talks was held in Geneva on January 24-31. The launch of the political process was possible due to the convocation of Geneva II Peace Conference on Syria in Montreux in compliance with an agreement reached between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on May 7, 2013, the ministry said.

“An agreement was reached to hold the second round of talks in Geneva on February 10. The success of the talks depends on the partiers’ wish to take into account mutual concerns and the readiness to search for a mutually acceptable solution,” the ministry said.

Russia jointly with the U.N. and other international partners “will make maximum contribution to working out formulas of comprehensive political settlement based on the parties’ accord”, the ministry said.

“We’ll continue providing aid within international agencies and bilateral channels in order to improve the humanitarian situation and assist to the Syrian population and refugees,” the ministry said.

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