Moscow, Russia (nsnbc) – Recent talks with the Syrian government and opposition resulted in the first adoption of a joint agreement between the government and the opposition, prompting UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura to stress that the international community should pay more attention to Moscow’s efforts.
Speaking to the British The Independent, de Mistura said that it is time for the world to listen more closely to Russia with regard to Moscow’s effort to broker a peaceful resolution to the four-year-long conflict that has cost more than 210,000 lives and caused an unprecedented rise in Islamist terrorism.
De Mistura stressed the long-standing ties between Damascus and Moscow and added that Russia cannot manage to bring about a peaceful resolution without the help of others.
Last week Moscow hosted talks between representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition, including the first direct talks.
The head of the Syrian government’s delegation and Syrian UN Envoy Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari described the outcome of the talks as positive and confirmed the adoption of a joint document entitled “An Assessment of the Situation in Syria”.
The talks were facilitated by Vitaly Naumkin who is the Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Naumkin stressed that it was the first time that the two sides managed to unanimously adopt a document of political character, reports the Russian Tass news agency.
The document reportedly contains provisions on resolving the Syrian crisis based on the principles of the June 30, 2012 Geneva Communique and the UN Security Council’s resolution on the fight against terrorism. It envisions the lifting of all restrictive economic measures against Syria and the international community’s assistance in repatriating refugees.
It also stipulates that the inter-Syrian dialog must be conducted without foreign interference, stressing that this would be the only way to resolve the crisis peacefully.
Both the Syrian government, Syrian political parties and civil society organizations have repeatedly stressed that everybody who renounces violence and vouches for the territorial integrity of Syria is welcome to participate in Syria’s political discourse, constitutionally, and on equal terms with others.
Last week the head of the foreign-based opposition, Qadri Jamil, said that the opposition would apply to the UN to arrange a Geneva III conference to continue the work toward a peaceful settlement. Both the “opposition” as well as the government and Syrian self-defense forces have increasingly been pressed by the advance of ISIS.
Meanwhile, the United States is preparing its “train and equip” program in Turkey which will work towards launching more so-called “moderate rebels” into Syria. In 2014 some 5,000 of these “moderate rebels” would join the ranks of the Islamic State.
Author: Christof Lehmann
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