New round of inter-Syrian talks in Geneva is likely in May, Russia says

Moscow, SANA – Russian Foreign Ministry announced that a new round of inter-Syrian talks is likely to take place in Geneva next month.

The announcement was made by Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov during a press conference on Thursday. He expressed Moscow’s readiness to take part in the deliberations on Syria in the Swiss city.

Geneva hosted two rounds of talks on the crisis in Syria. The first was held without the participation of the Syrian sides and came out with Geneva Communiqué of June 30, 2012.

The second round, however, was turned into a kind of a media show by the Western countries, who practiced a guardianship role on the delegation of the opposition then, which led to the talks ending with no results.
Gatilov told reporters that he was going to discuss with the UN Secretary General’s deputy special envoy for Syria Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, who had arrived earlier in Moscow, the prospects of the Syrian-Syrian dialogue of which, he said, a new round is likely to be held in May.

Gatilov added that he will discuss with Ramzy the viewpoints on the issue of the settlement in Syria and the prospects for resuming the inter-Syrian dialogue in a new round of talks.

He said he expects from Ramzy to convey some possible tangible ideas of the Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura on the mechanism to resume the political process.

Gatilov pointed out that de Mistura has a plan for his work in which he suggests inviting representatives of the opposition and representatives of the main countries interested in the Syrian issue.

Those countries, he said, are the five permanent members of the Security Council and other external players.

De Mistura, Gatilov noted, is determined to hold “in-depth consultations” with those countries on means to achieve the settlement in Syria.

Russia has received an invitation to that effect and will take part, said Gatilov, clarifying that a return now to the Russia-US-UN formula on the Syrian issue is not being discussed.

Moscow hosted two roundsof inter-Syrian talks in January and earlier in April of 2015, with the two sides-the government delegation and opposition figures- approving “Moscow Principles” guidelines in the first and a unified paper assessing the “status quo in Syria” item of a Russian-proposed schedule in the second.

Haifa Said

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