Published: Thu, March 02, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Orlando Mckenzie

Syria: Regime reportedly ready to talk transition

Syria: Regime reportedly ready to talk transition

Russian Federation also called Tuesday for "terrorism" to be included on the agenda of UN-sponsored peace talks on Syria in Geneva.

Russian Federation is struggling to salvage its bid to secure a deal to end six years of civil war in Syria as deepening differences with Iran risk a repeat of previous failed peace efforts led by the U.S.

Russian Federation on Tuesday cast its seventh veto to protect the Syrian government from United Nations Security Council action, blocking a bid by Western powers to impose sanctions over accusations of chemical weapons attacks during the six-year Syrian conflict.

Ankara- Russia's deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov threw on Tuesday the ball of the intra-Syrian talks in the camp of United Nations mediator Staffan de Mistura after announcing from Geneva that "the fight against terrorism is a priority and should be on the agenda along with other issues, including Resolution 2254".

The vote at the council comes as UN-brokered talks in Geneva to end the war in Syria were struggling to get off the ground while government air strikes continued, despite a ceasefire.

Russia's delegation looks set to meet the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), the main opposition group, in Geneva on Wednesday, with the Assad opponents urging Moscow to step up pressure on Damascus.

"It is counter-constructive", Gatilov told reporters. While new U.S. President Donald Trump has called for an alliance with Russian Federation to fight the jihadists, he's also branded Iran as the "number one terrorist" threat even as the Kremlin insists on including Iranian-backed and Assad forces in the anti-terrorist campaign in Syria. The agenda for the moment focuses on three "baskets" or areas: governance, constitution and elections.

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"Terrorism is a priority".

Western sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that a meeting between the Syrian regime delegation and de Mistura on Tuesday was rather "confrontational". "There is common understanding that we need to move ahead in resolving the Syria crisis", Gatilov said, adding the sides outlined their approaches to finding solutions to the Syria crisis.

The Reuters report was released on the same day that talks between representatives of the Syrian government and opposition with United Nations mediator Staffan de Mistura started in Geneva.

The participants of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva refer to Russia's role in their launch, Gatilov said.

"Jaafari is stalling, they don't want to start the political transition", the HNC spokesman told AFP on Sunday.

"While the Iran-Russia-Turkey diplomatic push has created new hopes for the settlement of the conflict, the United States and its allies are increasing efforts to escalate tensions and prevent a breakthrough", Jamali said.

Such a political concession by the government, after major gains on the battlefield, has never been up for discussion, according to past comments by Assad's chief negotiator Bashar al-Ja'afari.

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