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Inter-Syrian talks kick off in Geneva

February 02, 9:02 UTC+3 GENEVA
The delegations of the government and opposition will hold separate meetings with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura today
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 UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura

© EPA/MARTIAL TREZZINI

GENEVA, February 2. /TASS/. Inter-Syrian talks have officially started in Geneva. The delegations of the government and opposition will hold separate meetings with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura today.

De Mistura will try to convince the sides to maintain restraint as much as possible. Though the delegations, especially from the opposition, are actively communicating with journalists, they try to avoid dramatic statements. Head of the government delegation, Syria’s Ambassador to UN Bashar Jaafari made a certain link between terrorists and several representatives of the opposition but noted that delegates from official Damascus do not plan to leave Geneva.

The opposition repeatedly said that it does not set any preconditions. "We came here without any conditions, any preconditions," Syria’s Supreme Commission for Negotiations official spokesman Salem al-Muslad told TASS.

Delegates from the opposition also do not plan to drop the issue of discussing humanitarian problems. In particular, they demand the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 2254 - to stop siege of cities, free imprisoned women and children, and halt attacks at civilians.

The UN special envoy noted that the sides should simultaneously launch negotiations on the issues of ceasefire at the level of International Syria Support Group.

On 18 December 2015 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2254 in support of the Vienna agreements on the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Syria envisages participation of the Syrian opposition and representatives of government in the talks. The final goals of negotiations are defined as establishing the transitional government, adopting a constitution and holding election in the next 18 months.

The document does not mention Syrian President Bashar Assad whose future remains the main stumbling block. The resolution states that the Syrian people should decide the future of the country.

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