International Support Group for Syria to Discuss Coordinating Efforts to Resolve Crisis

Vitaly Churkin on Syria : UN Media Stakeout

10 February، 2016
Moscow, SANA

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that the meeting of the international support group for Syria due to be held on Thursday in Munich will discuss coordinating efforts to resolve the crisis in Syria.

In a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday, Zakharova said that the group will also discuss ways to resolve the issues that led to UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura postponing intra-Syrian dialogue in Geneva, stressing that Russia will guarantee that the “Riyadh opposition” will not demand any preconditions, as per Security Council resolution no. 2254.

She said that the meeting will also address the issue of the participation of Kurds in the Geneva talks, adding that the Kurds are fighting ISIS and they shouldn’t be excluded from deciding the future of their country, noting that there international sides that want to prevent their participation to further their own ends.

Excluding Kurds From Syria Peace Talks Recipe for ‘Permanent War’

Zakharova went on to say that the issues of ceasefire and delivering humanitarian aid to besieged areas will be discussed.

The Spokesperson pointed out that the Syrian Arab Army’s achievements in ridding the border areas with Turkey from terrorism are raising concerns in Turkey, Germany, and the West, saying that these border areas are used to provide weapons and supplies to terrorists in Syria and at the same time they are used for illicit trade in petroleum stolen from Syria, which is why the Syrian Army’s achievements are upsetting Turkey which wants to protect its illicit trade.

She asserted that Russia exerted huge efforts for holding the intra-Syrian dialogue, and it’s illogical to accuse it of undermining it, affirming that the statements of some Western officials have a negative impact on dialogue in Geneva.

Zakharova pointed out to the statements made by US State Secretary John Kerry who claimed that the Russian aerial operations in Syria are killing civilians, saying that these statements are irresponsible and unacceptable because he has sufficient information about the Russian operations, and he has no information, proof, or photos that support his claims.

She also said that the statements of American officials claiming that Russia is using internationally-prohibited bombs that kill civilians in Syria are also unacceptable, as these statements lack any proof to back them and are coming from the very same side that used such bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Spokesperson went on to assert that the US and Western accusations of Russia’s counterterrorism operations in Syria resulting in a humanitarian crisis are baseless; rather it is the West and other states in the Middle East that further complicated the situation in Syria.

Zakharova stressed that people are fleeing due to terrorism and the accumulative situation from the past years, not because of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ activities, and that the goal of these operations is to eliminate ISIS, adding that Western media claims that there are Russian troops on the ground in Syria are baseless.

She also dismissed the allegations made by Turkey’s representative at the UN who claimed that Moscow is rejecting dialogue with Ankara, saying that these allegations are pure propaganda and an attempt to shrug off responsibility for the death of the Russian pilot whose plane was shot down by Turkey in 2015.

Zakharova said that those who think the Turkish campaign will remain unanswered are delusional, and that Turkey’s policy of refusing to admit culpability for the downing of the Russian plane, its persistence in making unrealistic statements about Russia’s operations in Syria, and its use of double standards when it comes to fighting terrorism mean that there are no possibilities for resuming dialogue between Russia and Turkey in the near horizon.

Hazem Sabbagh

Lavrov to Kerry: “UNSC resolution no.2254 does not allow any preconditions”
10 February، 2016
Moscow, SANA
Lavrov-KerryRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the US Secretary of State John Kerry affirmed on Wednesday that the UN resolution no.2254 adopted by the UN Security Council on the formula of the Syrian-Syrian dialogue “does not allow any preconditions”.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the both sides agreed during a phone call on the need for a cease-fire in Syria and the provision of humanitarian aid to all blockaded towns.

Lavrov and his counterpart focused during the phone call on the settlement of the Syrian crisis in light of the upcoming meeting of the International Syria Support Group in Munich.

The ministry added that they also discussed the possibility of coordinating agreements in this regard in the context of the application of UN resolution.

Manar al-Frieh/Manal

Borodavkin: We hope that a unified opposition delegation will be formed by February 25th
10 February، 2016
Moscow, SANA
Alexey-BorodavkinRussia’s Permanent Representative at the UN office in Geneva Alexey Borodavkin voiced hope that UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura will correct his mistake and invite all opposition groups to attend the intra-Syrian dialogue in Geneva on February 25th.

In an interview given to Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneve, Borodavkin stressed the need to form a unified delegation representing all Syrian opposition groups as per Security Council resolution no. 2254, which would mean the inclusion of representatives of the opposition that participated in the Moscow, Cairo, and Riyadh meetings.

Russia, US Agree Intra-Syrian Talks Have No Chance to Succeed Without Kurds

He said that Syrian Kurds are an integral part of the Syrian people and have the right to participate in deciding their country’s future, stressing that the UN and the international support group for Syria cannot become subject to the whims of the single state that wants to prevent Kurds from participating in dialogue, referring to Turkey.

Borodavkin voiced regret over the overwhelming attention given by de Mistura to the “Riyadh opposition” delegation which assumed very extremist positions, at a time when the Moscow and Cairo group delegation didn’t receive equal attention.

The Russian Representative hoped that the international support group for Syria meeting due to be held on Thursday in Munich will pave the way towards relaunching dialogue on February 25th or before that, asserting that Russian-American cooperation in this regard is one of the essential conditions for the success of this task.

Hazem Sabbagh


 

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On the Predictable Failure of Geneva III