Al-Jaafari: We had in-depth discussions with de Mistura on issues that constitute priorities for Syria

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Geneva, SANA – The head of the Syrian Arab Republic delegation to the intra-Syrian dialogue in Geneva, Bashar al-Jaafari, said that the session held by the delegation on Monday with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura discussed in an in-depth manner issues that constitute priorities for Syria and the whole world, like the issue of combating terrorism.

In a statement to journalists following the talks session, al-Jaafari said that the delegation explained to de Mistura the dangers that arise from the actions of certain states, some of them members of the Security Council, who support and train terrorism and export to Syria through Turkey under various nomenclatures.

Al-Jaafari asserted that the nomenclatures used to identify active terrorist groups do not change the fact that they are all terrorist groups, wondering “how come there aren’t armed moderate opposition groups active on French, British, and US soil that are sponsored by other states? Why this discrimination against the Syrian people?”

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“When terrorism is active in Syria against Syrians, they call it moderate opposition or jihadists and so on, and they don’t call them terrorists, but when they return to the states from which they came, they become terrorists. ” he added.

Al-Jaafari also said that the delegation explained to de Mistura the threat posed by the Wahabism which is source of the extremist Takfiri mentality that threatens the whole world, noting that Al Qaeda’s ideology is based on the Wahabi ideology.

The head of the delegation added that they haven’t received any response so far from the other sides on the “political solution for the crisis” document which was presented to de Mistura, who promised that the response would be available on Wednesday or Thursday.

“What the Saudi delegation says in statements or leaks about the presidency position isn’t worthy of a response, because this matter is not up for discussion and wasn’t included in any paper or the documents related to this dialogue,” he stressed, adding that the delegation hasn’t received from de Mistura any official document or paper from any side involved in the intra-Syrian dialogue.

Al-Jaafari also voiced surprise over the irresponsible discourse of some sides regarding the legislative elections in which Syrians elect their representatives at the People’s Assembly.

“We don’t know until now how is representing the opposition delegation and who is the expert and who is the consultant, and this is a big obstacle for dialogue,” he said.

“We are looking forward for the dialogue to be serious, which is why we presented from the start a group of basic elements for resolving the crisis,” al-Jaafari stated.

Asked about the presence of terrorists in one of the oppositions’ delegations and the agreement with De Mistura on a list of terrorist organizations, al-Jaafari said: “It is not our problem, nor is it De Mistura’s that the Riyadh opposition delegation has terrorists in it…It is the problem of the International Syria Support Group that claims to be a group for supporting Syria, but in fact it isn’t.”

“Preparing a unified list of the terrorist organizations is a highly important matter that was assigned to Jordan by the participants in Vienna conference, but Jordan failed to do it.”

When asked to assess the talks, al-Jaafari said “it is too early” but promised a final assessment at the end of the round of talks. He spoke of a “good atmosphere” dominating talks with the Special Envoy as he lamented the lack of “genuine engagement” by other sides.
Al-Jaafari affirmed that the Syrian state is defending its sovereignty, people and constitution and is bent on preventing a repetition of the Libyan, Iraqi and Somali models.

“Based on the concept of sovereignty, it is any government’s right to enlist the help of its allies, which is a constitutional right, to confront international terrorism. The state and terrorist organizations cannot be placed on an equal footing.” “Had it not been for Hezbullah’s defense of Lebanon’s borders with Syria, Qaeda and takfiris would have permeated Lebanon.”

Answering a question about an upcoming meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry, al-Jaafari described it as important. “It is undoubtedly an important meeting, but this is supposed to be a Syrian-Syrian dialogue without foreign interference…If the Saudi delegation is waiting to take orders after the meeting, it is up to them anyway but this is deemed a violation of the Geneva meeting references that reject any form of foreign interference,” he said.

Al-Jaafari said Syria’s delegation has “a moral and political obligation” to end bloodshed. “But we cannot do this alone…There are countries involved in supporting terrorism…All of you know what is happening on the Syrian-Turkish borders and in Golan, and the way Israel is tending to the injured Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists and treating them in its hospitals, with Qatar paying the bill.”

For his part, UN Special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said in a press statement “We exchanged ideas on finding “a common ground” among sides,” adding that “the frame work is what we discuss now and we talked about terrorism and defining the terrorist organizations.”

“What we need today is a common understanding, and this is the principle of dialogue,” de Mistura said.

He added “We talked to the civil society even though it had no political role, but we want to listen to the Syrian people… we met today 25 persons and there was a very strong message about how to improve the situation and reach a solution to the crisis.”

Whether De Mistura has any evaluation on the vision of al-Jaafari about “the political transition” or not, he said “the time now is early and unavailable for that, It is important to start presenting a good understanding for all, neither Security Council nor International Syria Support Group can impose that.”

If De Mistura has any concern about the slowness of Geneva talks in comparison with the acceleration of events in Syria and the world, De Mistura said “Yes, we are worried about this point as the hostilities continue and as the same as, more or less, in relation to the humanitarian tasks.”

He expressed complete support to the US-Russian talks to push the political process in Syria forwards, adding “The operation Center that has been fulfilled is a good thing to realize interaction and contain the crisis.”

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