29 January، 2016
Russian President’s Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met a delegation of the Syrian national opposition in Moscow on Thursday.
The intra-Syrian talks due to be held in Geneva was the focal point of the meeting.
A statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry said Bogdanov and the opposition delegation exchanged views about Syria and the situation in the country, with focus placed primarily on the mission to reach a political solution to the crisis as soon as possible through launching the broadest possible Syrian-Syrian dialogue.
“On the eve of the talks in Geneva between the representatives of the government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the opposition, there was stress on the necessity to consider the interests of the various Syrian political forces in a long-term settlement in Syria,” the statement added.
Earlier on the day, the Russian diplomat affirmed the importance that Geneva talks involve the broadest participation of representatives of the political and social forces both from the government and the opposition, and from inside and outside the country.
The national opposition delegation said during their meeting with Bogdanov that they were dissatisfied with the list of the “Syrian opposition” delegation to Geneva talks.
They added that they were treated unfairly having been excluded from representation to the talks.
The delegation included Elian Masaad, Secretary of the National Conference Party/A Secular Syria/ and official spokesman for the Syrian National Work Committee, Barwin Ibrahim, leader of the Syrian Youth for Development Party, sheikh Nawaf al-Milhem, General Secretary of the People’s Party and representative of the Syrian tribes and Tareq al-Ahmad, member of the leadership of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party.
In a statement to SANA correspondent in Moscow, al-Milhem described the meeting with Bogdanov as “constructive”.
“We stress that those who were imposed by the outside don’t represent the vision of the Syrians or their aspirations to be the decision maker in determining Syria’s destiny,” said al-Milhem.
“We hope to see them in the local and parliamentary elections where they will know who has the largest representation inside Syria,” he added.
Barwin, for her part, said the visit was “to convoy a message of protest by those from inside Syria for not being fairly represented in the forthcoming Geneva conference.”
“The main representatives at the table must be of those inside Syria who stayed there and defended it,” she added, noting that a written message of protest was delivered to Bogdanov and the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.