Updated-Al-Jaafari: Session with de Mistura was positive and constructive

Geneva, SANA – Head of the Syrian Arab Republic’s delegation to the intra-Syrian dialogue in Geneva Bashar al-Jaafari affirmed that the session held on Monday with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura was positive and constructive.

In a statement to journalists following the meeting with de Mistura, al-Jaafari said “we discussed in this session the importance and need for good preparation in terms of form, which would allow us to begin on solid basis in order to discuss the substance and essence.”

He noted that there was a mutual agreement between the Syrian Arab Republic delegation and the Special Envoy regarding the importance of the aspect of good preparation and finalizing the vision regarding agreement over the framework of dialogue in terms of form, because in diplomatic work, form controls the success of the essential aspect to a large degree.

Al-Jaafari went on the explain that the form aspect he refers to covers issues such as who are the delegations that came to Geneva, circumventing the gaps that were present in the first round of talks, who is on the list of names of participants, and treating all delegations equally.

Jaafari 2

“The dialogue was positive and constructive. We as the Syrian Arab Republic delegation upheld our responsibility in helping to prepare well for the stage of transitioning from form to substance, as we presented ideas and opinions titled ‘essential elements for the political resolution’ which should enrich de Misutra’s diplomatic efforts when he meets the other delegations,” he explained,

“We will move now to the stage of preparing well for the second meeting with de Mistura which will take place on Wednesday,” al-Jaafari added, noting that de Mistura said that the form of dialogue he intends to carry out will be in the form of a meeting with the Syrian Arab Republic delegation on one day and meetings with other delegations on the next day.

Al-Jaafari said he hopes that all the other delegations are present in Geneva as per UN resolution no.2254, the Vienna statements, and the Munich declaration, all of which talked about the need for the widest spectrum of Syrian opposition to be represented in dialogue.

“We want to hold dialogue as Syrians and under Syrian leadership without any foreign interference and without any preconditions,” he asserted, adding that any deviation from these principles will surely mean that there are those who seek to detail this round of talks as they did in the previous round.

“We are motivated by our sense of responsibility toward our people and homeland, and this responsibility is one of the forms of strength granted to us by the Syrian people to represent them in this round of Syrian-Syrian dialogue,” al-Jaafari concluded.

In a similar statement to journalists after the meeting, de Misutra said the meeting was useful and that it discussed procedural issues and resulted in deducing facts, adding that the meeting scheduled Wednesday will clarify some points, and that it will focus on the agenda which is based on Security Council resolution no. 2254.

De Mistura

He also said that he will brief the Security Council later in the evening on the progress made today and on how to resolve any difficulties if any are present.

De Mistura said the main point he will focus on is inclusivity, and that interlocutors must be updated on the latest developments, noting that he met Syrian women who will have considerable influence on what will be done because there needs to be a clear picture of what is happening, adding that there are some ideas floating that he doesn’t want to comment on because it’s still premature to do so.

In response to a question on the ” transitional political process”, de Mistura said discussing this matter would mean prejudging the talks, and called for referring to resolution no. 2254 and the Geneva communiqué.

As for discussing the agenda and more detailed political issue, the Special Envoy said the agenda is very important and that the aforementioned resolution discusses issues related to rule and elections, adding that there is determination to focus on the essence of the issue.

Regarding what is being referred to as “plan B,” de Mistura said that he doesn’t know if anyone present has a plan B; rather he only knows about plan A which is giving the maximum chances and exerting maximum pressure by the international community to ensure the success of intra-Syrian dialogue, ending violence, and delivering humanitarian aid, adding that the alternative “will be regrettably returning to where we were, which was basically an ongoing conflict.”

Hazem Sabbagh

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