Syria opposition at odds with wider parties: Russia

Syria opposition at odds with wider parties: Russia
Mon Feb 10, 2014 18:34:59

Russia has expressed its disappointment with the line-up of the Syrian opposition’s delegation which has remained unchanged since the first round of peace talks wrapped up in Geneva on January 31.

The Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Office, Alexei Borodavkin, noted on Monday that both the Geneva communique and the US-Russia statement of 7 May 2013 stipulated that the Syrian opposition delegation must be represented at the peace talks by a wider range of liberal opposition forces.

He said the opposition obviously failed to meet this requirement by bringing in people from only a handful of the National Coalition’s groups and parties. “It is a real shame,” the ambassador added.

UN Arab League special envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi also demanded that the rival delegations show more commitment to a peaceful solution, he was quoted on Monday.

Brahimi is expected to spend the next two to three days shuttling between the two delegations who still won’t talk directly to each other.

He plans to keep the two meetings separated and move between two rooms for now in hopes of improving the atmosphere during the second round of peace talks, which began Monday.

Russian and American deputy foreign chiefs are to meet in Switzerland this week where they are expected to discuss Syria progress with the help of Brahimi.

“Russia will be represented by Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov. The US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman is also expected to arrive in Switzerland before long. She will speak on hehalf of the American delegation,” the source informed.



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