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Syrian government does not want political solution – opposition spokesman

February 11, 2014, 18:55 UTC+3 GENEVA
After a mediated meeting of the parties to the Syrian conflict in Geneva spokesman for the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NCSROF), said there was no progress
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Spokesman for the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Luai Safi

Spokesman for the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Luai Safi

© EPA/SALVATORE DI NOLFI

GENEVA, February 11.  /ITAR-TASS/. A mediated meeting of the parties to the Syrian conflict in Geneva has ended, and United Nations and Arab League special Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is expected to hold a press briefing, the UN Office in Geneva said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Luai Safi, a spokesman for the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NCSROF), said there was no progress.

“There’s no progress,” he said. “We are convinced the government delegation does not want a political solution.”

The parties to the Syrian conflict returned to the negotiating table on Monday, February 10, after the first round of the Geneva-2 conference, which ended January 31, failed to bring any substantive results.

Geneva-2 was organized by Russia and the United States and seeks to negotiate a solution to the Syrian crisis which has claimed over 100,000 lives and displaced millions since its start in 2011, according to UN statistics.

Safi lamented that the government delegation rejected his delegation’s proposal to Brahimi that two negotiating sessions be held a day.

Another NCSROF spokesman, Monzer Akbik, told journalists on Tuesday that the Syrian opposition had presented a document outlining a political solution to the conflict, including provisions on a transitional governing body, as mentioned in the Geneva Communique.

The Geneva Communique (or Geneva-1 Communique) was adopted on June 30, 2012 at a conference of an “action group” on Syria in Geneva. That conference is now commonly referred to as “Geneva-1.” Geneva-2 is a logical continuation of Geneva-1.

But a source in the Syrian government delegation said his delegation rejected the opposition-submitted document on a transitional governing body.

“Discussing the transitional governing body before considering in detail the fight against terrorism is counterproductive,” the source said. “We feel the opposition’s sole aim is to topple the incumbent authorities.”

“We clearly stated today that any decisions that may be made in Geneva would be made public in Damascus and the Syrian nation will have to give its answer in any case,” he said.

A deputy Syrian foreign minister, Faisal Mekdad, said the government delegation did not plan to leave Geneva and would try to negotiate an agreement between the parties.

“We do not intend to leave. We will continue talks,” he said.

Mekdad also said a joint statement on the fight against terrorism should be adopted for talks to succeed.

“The fight against terrorism should remain a priority,” he said.

Mekdad said the government delegation would discuss the Geneva Communique item after item, adding that the agenda of the Geneva talks should be agreed by both sides.

Earlier, NSCROF representatives also confirmed their intention to stay in Geneva.

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