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Syria peace talks unlikely to succeed — Russian experts

February 08, 16:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian expert believes that the Syrian army’s success in cutting off the main supply routes for the militants in Syria was one of the root causes behind the poor start of the inter-Syrian talks
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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, February 8 /TASS/. The inter-Syrian talks, which are resuming in Geneva on February 25, are unlikely to succeed if the Syrian army does not win on the ground, Russian experts told a roundtable meeting (the Unsuccessful Start of the Syria Peace Talks: Possible Consequences) held on Monday.

"Victory on the ground, which I believe will occur in the next few months, is necessary to ensure the success of the inter-Syrian talks in Geneva," Vladimir Yevseyev, the head of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) department of the Institute of CIS Studies, said.

"That is why I do not believe that a compromise is possible on February 25 because so far there are no conditions for the Syrian national army to gain a convincing victory," Yevseyev said.

"It is necessary to go ahead with the talks in the course of these months at least for the purpose of formulating a common stance, which will allow the sides to reach a compromise," the expert concluded.

Another participant in the roundtable meeting, Amur Gadzhiyev, research associate of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Oriental Studies, said, in turn, that all the parties in the Syrian conflict wanted to settle [the crisis] as soon as possible.

"However, each of the parties in conflict keeps believing that it [the conflict] will be resolved in its favor and on its terms," Gadzhiyev explained.

He believes that the Syrian army’s success in cutting off the main supply routes for the militants in the north of the Syrian province of Aleppo was one of the root causes behind the poor start of the inter-Syrian talks.

"The Syrian opposition, which fears that the retreat on the front might result in significant concessions at the talks, decided for itself [an on advice from international sponsors] that it was not the best time to continue the talks. This, in my view, is one of the main reasons for the abortive start of the Geneva negotiations," Gadzhiyev said.

The inter-Syrian negotiations, which began in Geneva in the first days of February, were suspended days later until February 25. UN Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura said that the sides had focused on discussing procedural issues rather than on the solution of concrete tasks.

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