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Assad's envoy wants dialogue with Syrian opposition as Moscow talks end

January 29, 2015, 21:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The dialogue in Damascus could complete all consultative meetings

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Bashar Jaafri

Bashar Jaafri

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 29. /TASS/. Syrian authorities are interested in launching a comprehensive dialogue with the opposition in Damascus, Syria’s envoy to the United Nations said on Thursday

Bashar Jaafri headed the Syrian government’s delegation at the talks with the country’s opposition figures in Moscow.

The talks that on Monday started in the Russian capital gathered 32 opposition delegates and seven representatives of the Syrian government.

"Our Russian friends expect the next meeting to be held in Moscow," Jaafri said. "It will be discussed via diplomatic channels. What we want to hold in Damascus is a real dialogue between the government and opposition, not preliminary consultative meetings."

He added that the dialogue in Damascus could complete all consultative meetings.

He said that the government’s delegation "positively responded to all proposals of the opposition", which failed to present a united position during the talks.

Jaafri denied there were disputes between the government and opposition delegations adding that his assessment of the Moscow meeting was positive.

"This meeting has broken the ice," he said.

He also said that fighting terrorism was one of the key issues discussed in Moscow.

Russian academic Vitaly Naumkin, the moderator of the talks, said the so-called ‘Moscow Principles’ were adopted following the discussions,

The principles include the preservation of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, counter-terrorism effort and political resolution of the Syrian conflict on the basis of the 2012 Geneva communique.

Naumkin also said both opposition and government representatives agreed to continue consultations in Moscow but the next meeting could be held no sooner than in 1.5 months.

He warned that some forces could be interested in obstructing the second inter-Syrian meeting.

"Some forces, both regional and global, wanted to thwart this meeting or predicted its failure," Naumkin said. "I think they will be obstructing the second Syrian meeting or try to distort the results of the first one. But I am sure they’ll see no success.".

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