Syrian gov't rejects claims of hindering Geneva talks

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-16 05:49:11|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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DAMASCUS, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Friday slammed claims that the Syrian government delegation was responsible for the failure of the latest round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, state news agency SANA reported.

In a statement, the ministry deplored what it called the "allegations" of the UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, and France, which blamed the administration of President Bashar al-Assad for the failure of the eighth round of the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva.

On Thursday, Mistura said the two weeks of talks failed to yield the intended results despite great efforts, which he described as a "missed golden opportunity."

Mistura accused the Syrian government delegation of setting preconditions that he had warned against, saying the government delegation refused to discuss anything other than "terrorism."

French ambassador to the U.S. Gerard Araud also accused Syria of doing nothing to reach a peace agreement.

"The Assad regime never entered into any negotiation since the beginning of the civil war. They don't look for a political compromise but for the eradication of their enemies," Araud said on Twitter.

Alexandre Giorgini, France's deputy foreign ministry spokesman, said the attitude of the Syrian government is deplorable.

"We deplore the attitude of the Syrian regime, which has refused to engage in the discussion. The Syrian regime is responsible for the lack of progress in the negotiations," he said.

Such stances pushed the Syrian Foreign Ministry to condemn the "allegations," saying such remarks are parts of the "campaign of lies and misinformation."

The ministry said the Syrian government has positively made all true efforts to end the crisis, adding that the government delegation positively engaged in the sessions of the recent round of talks in Geneva.

The government team was hoping to reach positive results in this round of talks, blaming the failure of the recent round of talks on the opposition's pre-conditions.

"Everyone should realize that the Geneva process is an intra-Syrian dialogue under a Syrian leadership and the UN special envoy must realize that and work on removing the obstacles and to be objective and impartial in order to reach results that could end the crisis," the ministry said.

The eighth round of the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva ended on Thursday with both negotiating parties holding firm to their own visions.

Ahead of the talks, the Saudi-backed Riyadh Platform opposition group renewed demands for President Bashar al-Assad's departure as a prelude to any political settlement, which gave the government delegation a reason to accuse the opposition of placing pre-conditions for the talks, something that had previously been rejected.

The government, as in previous rounds, wanted to prioritize the counter-terrorism as the top issue to be discussed during the talks.

The opposition also wanted to discuss a transitional period.

Such differences ruled out the positive results at the end of the talks, which disappointed Mistura who was hoping to have both sides talk face-to-face in the eighth round of Geneva.