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Leader of Syrian opposition’s Moscow Group says current round of Geneva talks may fail

March 28, 16:39 UTC+3 GENEVA

Qadri Jamil pointed to the fact that UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura had been unable to ensure a simultaneous discussion of the four agreed aspects of the crisis

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GENEVA, March 28. /TASS/. The situation at the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva may lead to a failure, head of the Moscow Group of the Syrian opposition Qadri Jamil told TASS. He pointed to the fact that UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura had been unable to ensure a simultaneous discussion of the four agreed aspects of the crisis.

"The meeting (with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov) was held in a friendly and business-like atmosphere," Jamil said. "We discussed the current situation at the intra-Syrian talks being held in Geneva. Our delegation members said that another step forward needed to be taken as it was done the previous time, but there is no sign pointing to such a possibility. We insist that the ‘four baskets’ are discussed simultaneously while until now de Mistura has been holding separate talks with the Riyadh-based opposition group and the government delegation."

"This may lead the negotiation process to a failure as the Geneva-2 situation will repeat itself," Jamil added.

"However, we still have time," the leader of the Moscow Group added. "We want to take advantage of the Russian delegation’s presence in Geneva and ask it to facilitate the negotiation process."

The Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva said earlier on Twitter that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov had met with members of the Moscow Group of the Syrian opposition to discuss the Geneva talks.

At the fourth round of the intra-Syrian talks held in late February and early March, the participants agreed to simultaneously discuss four aspects of the Syria settlement (forming a government, drawing up a constitution, conducting elections and fighting terrorism). However, the government delegation believes that issues related to combating terrorism should be a priority while the Riyadh-based High Negotiations Committee wants to focus on political transition.

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