Opinion: Third Parties Pushed Opposition to Boycott Astana Talks

Those who pushed the Syrian armed opposition to boycott the Astana talks probably wanted to undermine the reconciliation process.

The Syrian opposition’s refusal to attend the Astana-3 talks was a failed attempt to deal a blow to the Astana and Geneva processes, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

“Perhaps those who pushed the Syrian armed opposition to boycott the event — we have no doubt that this decision was motivated from outside — just wanted to deal a blow to the Astana and, of course, in connection with it, the Geneva negotiating process. We are satisfied that they failed, and note the effective and coordinated work carried out in this connection by partners in the Astana format,” Zakharova said at a briefing.

The third round of talks on Syria is taking place in Astana now. Representatives of the Syrian armed opposition have said that their delegation will not attend them.

Zakharova said the Syrian opposition’s refusal to participate in the Astana talks on Syria meant unwillingness to solve problems and added that the Syrian armed opposition delegation’s justifications over non-attendance of the Astana meeting were unconvincing and unacceptable.

The civil war in Syria has been lasting for around six years with government troops fighting against numerous opposition factions and terror organizations such as al-Nusra Front and Daesh, outlawed in Russia.

The nationwide Syrian ceasefire regime was introduced on December 30, 2016. Terrorist organizations are not part of the ceasefire.





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