Al-Jaafari: Any Direct Dialogue with So-Called "Opposition" Necessitates Cancelling Riyadh II Statement

GENEVA, (ST)-The delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic to the Intra-Syrian Talks in Geneva discussed during the 8th round of the talks the issue of fighting terrorism, being the main gate for tackling other issues, head of the delegation, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari has stressed, pointing out that the delegation exerted intensive efforts as to come up with a positive result in this round of talks.  

Fighting terrorism is the fourth among the four baskets scheduled to be discussed in the Geneva process.

In a press conference following the fourth meeting with the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, al-Jaafari affirmed that the delegation rejected direct talks with the other side (the Saudi-backed opposition) because the statement issued at the Riyadh II conference of the Syrian "opposition" and which presents preconditions, still exists and the government delegation won't engage in direct talks under preconditions.

 Al-Jaafari said that those who drafted the Riyadh II statement aimed to undermine Geneva process by imposing provocative preconditions.

According to SANA, al-Jaafari said that the operators of the armed groups are themselves the operators of the party negotiating in Geneva and they have been sending bloody messages to influence the Geneva process.

Al-Jaafrai added that the delegation's talks with de Mistura focused on the terrorist acts that took place during the past two days in Syria.

“In our talks today, we discussed with de Mistura the attack carried out by the terrorists on Tadamon neighborhood in Damascus and the massacre committed by the US-led coalition in Deir Ezzor,” he clarified.

Coordination with Syrian government in counter-terrorism necessary

Al-Jaafari went on to say that any party that seeks participating in the counterterrorism operation should coordinate with the Syrian government and respect its sovereignty rather than relying on an illegal military presence on the Syrian territory.

"Respecting Syria's sovereignty and coordination with the Syrian government in counter-terrorism is more important than fighting terrorism itself, thus the compass of all who claim that they want to fight terrorism should be coordination and cooperation with the Syrian government on this issue, al-Jaafari affirmed.  

"There is only one address for fighting terrorism in a legal way, namely cooperation with the Syrian government instead of depending on an illegal foreign military presence in the Syrian territories," he said, referring to the illegal presence of the US troops in Syria and reiterating that fighting Daesh is the duty of all national forces in Syria.

Al-Jaafari pointed out that the framework of the coming Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi is completely different from the framework in which the Geneva and Astana talks are held. He asserting that any direct dialogue with the so-called opposition necessitates cancelling Riyadh II statement by the operators of the other negotiating side and also necessitates forming a unified opposition delegation in implementation of Security Council Resolution No. 2254.

Hamda Mustafa