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"Hmeimim" group members planning to contact Ja’affari in Geneva — group’s leader

April 15, 18:37 UTC+3 GENEVA
They also hope to meet UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura next week
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Bashar Ja’afari

Bashar Ja’afari

© Philippe Desmazes/pool photo via AP

GENEVA, April 15 /TASS/. The "Hmeimim" group representing internal Syrian opposition is planning to meet the Syrian government delegation led by Syrian Ambassador to UN Bashar Ja’afari in Geneva, Ilian Masaad, the secretary-general of the National Conference Party and the Hmeimim group’s leader, told TASS.

We meet government representatives in Geneva every time because they do not want to hold talks with us in Damascus. We met Syrian Ambassador to UN Bashar Ja’afari, the head of the Syrian government delegation, during our previous visits. I will also try to organize such a meeting this time, Masaad said.

"This time, we would like to establish contacts with other opposition groups. We are ready for dialogue, and this is our priority task," Masaad added.

He believes that it should be a government of national unity. "The question is how to create it? We are ready to discuss this issue with representatives of other opposition groups that were formed in Moscow, Cairo and Astana," the secretary-general of the Syrian National Conference Party said.

Masaad said it was impossible to solve Syria’s problems without joint negotiations. The representatives of the "Hmeimim" group are ready to meet moderate members of the Riyadh opposition group who are more open to dialogue and are ready to cooperate, Masaad said adding that many members of the Riyadh group wanted to turn Syria into an Islamic state and had not respect for human rights.

He added that the "Hmeimim" group was ready to create a single (opposition) delegation if any points of convergence were found.

"It is going to be difficult but if we have common views, I do not see why we should not form a single delegation?" he said.

Masaad added that it would be impossible to form a single delegation if the representatives of Riyadh group continued defending their radical ideas.

It is impossible to negotiate with people who are terrorists. It is important that they commit themselves to fighting terrorism, the "Hmeimim" group leader said.

Moreover, representatives of the "Hmeimim" group hope to meet UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura next week, Ilian Masaad went on to say.

According to Masaad, the date and time of the meeting with Staffan de Mistrua, have not yet been set, but it will definitely take place next week.

Syrian opposition group "Hmeimim" has expressed agreement with the twelve-point peace settlement plan proposed by de Mistura, Ilian Masaad added.

"In the first place, we'll grant Mr. De Mistura endorsement of the twelve-point plan he proposed the previous time," Masaad said. "Along with it, we'll make public our own viewpoint regarding the document as representatives of the internal opposition and will voice our ideas on the transition period institutes."

Representatives of the "Hmeimim" group of the internal Syrian opposition arrived in Geneva earlier on Friday for the second round of the inter-Syrian peace talks, which have been under way in the Swiss capital since Wednesday.


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