Cairo Opposition Platform Wants to See Moscow Group in Geneva Talks

The Cairo group of the Syrian opposition has received an official invitation for the upcoming reconciliation talks in Geneva, but doubts peace can be achieved without the participation of Moscow platform, the group’s leader, Jihad Makdissi, told Sputnik on Monday.

The next round of the UN-mediated intra-Syrian talks is expected to start on February, 23 in Geneva. The Moscow opposition platform, headed by the leader of Popular Front for Change and Liberation, Qadri Jamil, has not been invited and therefore decided not to take part in the upcoming round of talks.

“Yes, of course, I did, our platform did,” Makdissi said, asked whether he received an official invitation for the UN-mediated talks.

“But I doubt peace can be made without others, especially Moscow platform,” he added.

The Moscow platform of opposition declared on Saturday it would not participate in the upcoming talks due to “special advantages” that the United Nations gives to the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), and the alleged disregard to other opposition platforms.

Moscow-Damascus-Astana Video Link-Up: ‘Inter-Parliamentary Dialogue on Syria’s Peaceful Future’
The Moscow platform also blamed UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura for violating the UNSC Resolution 2254 and “obstructing the historical chance” of the talks.

“He [Qadri Jamil] should attend. Absence is not the right action,” Makdissi said.

The United Nations did not comment on the decision of Moscow platform, but said the consultations on the final list of participants are still ongoing.

On February 12, the HNC announced the final composition of the delegation to participate in the upcoming settlement talks. The list comprised 21 names, including 11 opposition politicians and 10 representatives of armed groups.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed earlier on Monday that intra-Syrian talks in Geneva cannot be held without the participation of government and the entire spectrum of the opposition, as set out in the UN Security Council resolution 2254, and called on the United Nations to remedy the situation.



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