Published: Sun, March 05, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Russian Federation can not see uniting opposition on HNC platform - ambassador to Geneva

Russian Federation can not see uniting opposition on HNC platform - ambassador to Geneva

The latest round of intra-Syrian talks "outlined" the way forward for the settlement of the conflict, Aleksey Borodavkin, the Russian envoy to UN Office in Geneva has said, urging the parties to be more constructive and ready for compromise.

The general principles on the future of Syria were derived from points set out by United Nations mediator Staffan de Mistura previous year, Hariri told reporters after the final meeting of the round of United Nations -led talks in Geneva, the first in 10 months.

"He said, "[There are] people in Syria and outside who still believe there is a military option or a military solution.

"That is fantasy", he said, adding that the United Nations would work in the coming weeks and months to settle the conflict.

Syria's warring sides agreed to a future round of negotiations at the end of a fourth set of talks in Geneva, a mild breakthrough after a week's worth of stalled discussions and a steadily failing ceasefire. The three countries are the guarantors of a cessation of hostilities agreement mediated in Astana, the capital of Kazakstan. The Geneva talks could resume on March 20. "De Mistura has to ensure that both sides don't feel trapped".

"If we don't have productive talks, (the) cease-fire won't last", he said.

The Syrian government's delegation left without comment. Jaafari emphasized though, that the Syrian government would prefer to talk to a unified opposition, instead of separate groups. "But it is not that the Riyadh delegation acquires those groups, but that they have a common constructive position at talks".

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A Western diplomat said Russia's push to unify the opposition was an underhand tactic.

As usual, the parties provoked and needled each other through press statements, but they didn't walk out.

For the past six years, Syria has been fighting terrorism.

As the text was still being finalized, the opposition met de Mistura to ensure the process would focus squarely on "political transition", Western diplomats said.

"The talks are once again raising questions about the ability of representatives of the Syrian opposition to do a deal", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing in Moscow.

"I really want to express my gratitude to the Syrian invitees for engaging with me and my colleagues in serious discussions during these last nine days", the special envoy told press.

He and other commanders nonetheless expressed hope for a political solution, but had no illusions that any agreement would require the support of Russian Federation to become a reality in the absence of a clear position on Syria by the new US administration.

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