20 January، 2016
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov affirmed on Wednesday that there are no thoughts about the talks between the Syrian government and opposition planned for this month in Geneva being postponed until next February, a point he said is agreed on by Russia and US.
“We do not have any kind of thoughts about changing the beginning of the talks from January to February,” Lavrov told reporters. “This is the position of Russia and the USA,” Lavrov said in a press conference following his meeting with US State Secretary John Kerry.
“Various dates have been named, but the final decision will be taken by the Secretary-General of the UN on the advice and recommendations of his special envoy Staffan de Mistura,” he added.
He stressed that Russia hasn’t backed down from its position of classifying Jaish al-Islam (Islam Army) and Ahrar al-Cham as terrorist organizations. The first, he said, had attacked the residential areas in Damascus, including the Russian Embassy, and the second is affiliated to al-Qaeda.
Moscow: Syrian opposition would be responsible for any obstacles in front of talks
21 January، 2016
Special envoy to the Russian President, Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Bogdanov called on “the Syrian opposition” to not put preconditions that could obstruct the Syrian-Syrian talks expected in Geneva late January.
“The Syrian opposition will bear a historic responsibility if it hinders the talks,” SPUTNIK news agency quoted Bogdanov as saying; adding that any preconditions to start negotiations would be rejected.
He clarified that all issues will be of great importance, including the humanitarian file and steps of “confidence-building.”