Naumkin: Moscow inter-Syrian meetings’ results form basis for future talks

Moscow, SANA – Russian moderator Vitaly Naumkin of Moscow inter-Syrian talks said Friday the meetings’ results were positive and could constitute a basis for future meetings, and that no-one could disregard all that was achieved during these meetings.

Addressing a press conference in Moscow, Naumkin was speaking of sessions of deliberations that were held over the past two days between the delegation of the Syrian government and figures of the opposition.

He reiterated that there was unanimous agreement on the “assessing the status quo” item, the first of a list of other items of April 9, 2015 schedule.

He noted that the schedule’s third item was also discussed, but was not approved “due to lack of time and problems.”

Naumkin stressed that Russia doesn’t interfere in the talks and welcomes any initiative for resolving the crisis in Syria, as is reflected by the official statements of the Russian foreign Ministry.

He hailed the endorsement of Item 1 as “a joint document adopted for the first time” by the two sides, noting however that some of the opposition sides suspended their participation, that these sides looked at what happened in a pessimistic manner and wanted to impose their own views.

He cited the main points under Item 1, including settling the crisis in Syria politically and on the basis of Geneva Communiqué of June 30, 2012, and demanding serious international pressure on terrorism backers and an immediate lift of all coercive economic measures imposed on Syria.

Naumkin made it clear that the document stresses that national sovereignty and the Syrian people’s will must be the basis for any political process, which can be produced through the agreement of the Syrian government, forces, parties and figures who believe in a political solution.

He said that the basis for any political process should emphasize preserving Syria’s sovereignty and unity and the state’s establishments and rejecting any settlement based on racial or sectarian division, stressing that the only way to carry out a political solution is through a Syrian-led inter-Syrian national dialogue without any foreign intervention.

He affirmed that the political settlement to the crisis in Syria should see all potentials of the Syrian people employed to face and defeat terrorism where weapons remain in the hands of the state institutions only, and that it also requires the international community to support the accord reached during the Moscow meetings to serve as basis for Geneva 3.

Naumkin said that the exchange of viewpoints should lead to settling the crisis via political means and ensure that the other side’s viewpoints are heard completely.

As for those who look at the results of the meetings differently, he said that this is their right, adding that finding quick solution in a crisis of such scale isn’t possible, unfortunately.

Answering questions from the press, Naumkin said that any meeting that serves the purpose of achieving a peaceful resolution is useful, and while some people expected more results from this meeting, it isn’t plausible to resolve complicated issues with only two days of talks.

He noted that prior to the meetings, Syrian government released 683 detained as a gesture of good will, and on the other hand, when the government’s delegation asked the participants to talk about how they can help the army in fighting terrorism, they didn’t have an answer, adding that there are some unresolved issues among the opposition groups.

On whether there are plans for future meetings, Naumkin said that no specific dates were discussed, and regarding the effect of the absence of some opposition sides from the meeting, he noted that the “coalition” was invited to attend but refused because it wants to claim that it is the sole representation of the Syrian people.

He also hinted that some Kurdish components in the opposition proposed issues related to self administration, but the Syrian government sees that such concepts lead towards something similar to the Iraqi scenario and therefore creates a risk of social division.

Haifa Said / Hazem Sabbagh

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