Syrian government to take part in next round of Geneva II

Syrian government to take part in Geneva
Damascus, Feb 7: Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad Friday said the government will take part in the second round of talks as part of Geneva II conference slated for Feb 10.

The participation of the government delegation in the next round of talks in Geneva has been decided, Mekdad said, adding that the delegation would focus to discuss the items of the Geneva I communique, which concluded in 2012, Xinhua reported citing the official SANA news agency.

The delegation would also discuss putting an end to terrorism in Syria, said Mekdad, a member of the government delegation.

Last Friday, the first round of talks in Geneva between the delegations of the Syrian government and the opposition Syrian National Coalition ended without achieving results with both sides sticking to their respective demands.

The talks, mediated by UN-Arab League joint envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, were marred by confrontational tones.

The opposition demanded from the beginning the establishment of a transitional government in Syria with full executives, based on the communique adopted at a previous conference in Geneva. It said President Bashar al-Assad must have no role in the transitional government.

However, the government team said it would not hand over power to the coalition, but only negotiate a political solution. It said Assad's departure was a "red line".


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