4 March، 2017
We managed to impose an agenda to serve the Syrians’ high interest by including terrorism as a fourth point
Head of the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic to Geneva, Bashar al-Jaafari, said the key achievement that has been reached during the fourth round of the Syrian talks in the Swiss city is the agreement on an agenda of four main points.
Speaking in a press conference on Saturday after the fourth round of the Syrian-Syrian dialogue in Geneva wrapped up, al-Jaafari said the fourth point, which is that of terrorism, was added to the three other points of governance, the constitution and the elections.
to name it, was included [in the agenda] upon our request, and it has gained the support of all the participant parties with the exception of the so-called ‘Riyadh delegation’ group.”
“We were eventually able to agree after seven days of very intensive talks with the mediator and the other friendly delegations participating as observers in Geneva, and impose a rational and reasonable agenda that serves the high interest of the Syrian people,” added al-Jaafari, noting that the topic that was highly focused on, and occupied 80 % of the discussions, was that of fighting terrorism.
He noted that the issue of terrorism was not fully discussed as it has become one of the main fourth points or “baskets” on the agenda, and therefore there will be a deeper discussion of this issue in the next rounds of talks.
“As for the other points, we touched upon them in passing, a quarter of an hour for each of the other baskets except the issue of the elections, which we didn’t deal with at all because it is linked to the constitution, and the constitution is linked to the upcoming all-inclusive national government,” he said, pointing out that there was no in-depth discussion of the agenda, but there was only agreement on it.
He referred to the paper of “the basic principles for the political solution to the crisis in Syria” which the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic handed over to de Mistura at the previous session of talks.
He went on saying that the Special Envoy and his advisor Vitaly Naumkin made use of this paper and prepared a non-paper of 12 items that is based on the paper the delegation presented with some amendments and updates.
“In turn, we presented amendments to this non-paper which Naumkin presented to us at this round,” said al-Jaafari, adding that “the non-paper will be discussed in light of our amendments,” and that de Mistura needed to study it and pass it on to the other parties.
“Until now, nothing has been adopted. Nothing is final yet, except the agreement on the agenda, which is the only thing we achieved during this round,” said al-Jaafari.
He went on saying that “we look forward to having this paper as the principles of the political solution in Syria; meaning we have suggested that this paper form the suitable foundation, common denominators and common vision that allow moving towards discussing the agenda on national bases and not on the basis of foreign agendas.”
“In other words, this paper is more like an attempt at having a common reading of the Syrian reality between us and the other platforms that believe in the Syrian national solution,” said al-Jaafari.
As for the timetable stated in de Mistura’s statement, “we told the Special Envoy at the session before yesterday that the timetables stated in the resolution no. 2254 had to be respected at that time, but all the parties that were interested in allowing the successful implementation of the rules of this resolution are responsible for the disregard of the timetables.”
He went on saying that the UN Special Envoy himself was in some way one of those responsible for having the timetables not being observed, noting that these timetables were violated even before starting the talks in Geneva, including the issue of the constitution which had to be addressed within six months of the date of adopting the resolution, but that did not happen.
Al-Jaafari noted that even the timetables were not observed, “Nevertheless we told de Mistura that we agree to the agenda and that we will work together with him and with the rest of the parties to allowing this agenda being dealt successfully in a reasonable and acceptable way without imposition, twisting arms or manipulation of any of the points.”
“We explained to de Mistura that we have no problem with dealing with any topic whatsoever as long as the order of the agenda is respected and as long as the issue of combating terrorism will be included in our discussions at every session until we agree on it,” said al-Jaafari.
Al-Jaafari criticized the “Riyadh opposition” group, saying it is “clowning around” with its statements, which makes it look politically immature.
He pointed out that de Mistura made a mistake when he did not bring the opposition groups together in one delegation and did not include other opposition groups in contradiction with the resolution no. 2254, noting that there are other more reasonable platforms of opposition that would be unfair to compare them to the “Riyadh group”.
Asked about what is needed for having a direct dialogue held with the other platforms’ al-Jaafari said “This question sums up the whole Geneva issue. What is needed is that we have a national partner.”
“We told this to de Mistura yesterday. What is needed is to have a national opposition partner that doesn’t work according to foreign agendas, or turns to Israel or Turkey, or works in favor of Qatari, Saudi, Jordanian and Israeli intelligence agendas,” he said.
“This is the first condition. The second one is to have opposition groups that agree on a common agenda of what is called ‘opposition’,” he added
He stressed that those who refuse to deal with the agenda that was agreed on and the item of fighting terrorism would be proving themselves as being terrorists or subordinates to one of the terrorism advocates.