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Muallem: Damascus ready for peace talks even without Riyadh-formed opposition delegation

February 07, 20:11 UTC+3 ABU DHABI
Walid Muallem said the opposition delegation had arrived in Geneva not to take part in the negotiations but because of pressure from Russia and the United States
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© AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis

ABU DHABI, February 7. /TASS/. Syria’s government is ready to continue settlement talks even if the opposition delegation formed in the Saudi capital city is absent, Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said in an interview with the Al Maradeen television channel.

The Syrian diplomat stressed the topicality of further intra-Syrian contacts, even in the event the Riyadh-formed opposition delegation was out of the political process. "If they (the opposition delegation" don’t arrive (for the talks), we will continue anyway," he said.

He said the opposition delegation had arrived in Geneva not to take part in the negotiations but because of pressure from Russia and the United States. "They (the delegation) have no authority and represent no one but themselves," Muallem said.

Intra-Syrian talks on the settlement of the conflict in that country were to begin in Geneva in early February. However several days after the beginning the talks were postponed till the end of the month. United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said he hoped contacts between the Syrian parties would be resumed in Geneva on February 25.

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