February 11, 2014 10:04
Syrian settlement talks to continue in Geneva
BRUSSELS. Feb 11 (Interfax) - Syria's government and opposition delegations are due to continue their talks in Geneva on Tuesday.
On February 10, UN-Arab League peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi held separate meetings with the sides' delegations, but there was no traditional press conference summing up the results of that day's negotiations.
Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, for his part, said that the main goal of the Geneva II conference is to combat terrorism and stop the bloodshed in Syria.
The Syrian authorities' delegation will not object to discussing a possible transitional government for Syria when the time is right for it, he said.
The opposition's representative Anas Al-Abda said that the delegation sent by the Syrian opposition to Geneva includes representatives of insurgents who are immediately involved in the country's hostilities.
Seven new members have recently joined the delegation, among them representatives of the Syrian Revolutionaries Front group, he said.
Apart from them, the opposition's delegation includes former officers of Syria's security services who sided with the opposition.
According to Al-Abda, they will join the talks only if discussions on military issues are launched with the authorities.
Representatives of the Islamic Front, a major association of armed groups fighting against pro-government forces, are also among the opposition delegation's members, he said.
"No one holds a monopoly to armed fighting. Islamic Front has complaints about Geneva, and we respect them. We will be pleased if they join us," Al-Abda said.
The first round of Geneva-based talks between Syria's government and opposition delegations ended on January 31 without producing any serious breakthrough due to differences in the sides' priorities.
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