Russian Deputy FM Expresses Optimism over Syrian Peace Talks

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Syrian reconciliation talks in Geneva have made some progress and must be sustained, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, local media reported Monday.

Russian Deputy FM Expresses Optimism over Syrian Peace Talks

"We are cautiously optimistic. The talks must be given a sustainable nature. It is excellent that the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan De Mistura announced the April 11 start of the next round of talks at the end of this round. There are ideas and there is groundwork laid down on paper," Ryabkov said in an interview with the Izvestia newspaper, Sputnik News reported on Monday.

The latest round of talks between the Syrian government and opposition forces opened on March 14 in Geneva and ended on Thursday.

The round saw all delegations submit their settlement proposals to De Mistura, who then produced a final paper with points of convergence between the parties. It was submitted for delegations' approval ahead of the new round of talks expected to start around April 10.

The points included provisions for Syria becoming a unified, sovereign, democratic and non-sectarian state based on political pluralism, as well as for cooperating with other states in preventing funds and weaponry supplies to terrorists.

The presence of Kurds is important for the talks, Ryabkov stressed, adding that the Syrian opposition's Riyadh-formed High Negotiations Committee (HNC) should adopt a more realistic stance and abandon attempts at setting pre-conditions.

Three opposition delegations are taking part in the negotiations: the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), which was formed in Saudi Arabia in December, the delegation formed following talks in Moscow and Cairo and the group formed after opposition talks at Hmeimim air base in Syria.

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