The crisis in Syria is coming to an end and the Syrian people are optimistic. This was stated today at a press conference in Damascus by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Syria, Walid Muallem. He also informed that on Sunday, March 13th, a Syrian government delegation will travel to Geneva, where it was invited by the UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura.
Indirect inter-Syrian negotiations will begin on March 14th and will last 10 days. “We’re going to Geneva, to achieve success in a dialogue,” the head of the Syrian Foreign Ministry said. In addition, he drew attention to the fact that the success of the negotiations depends on the position of the other side. “If opposition members expect to receive power in Geneva, and to achieve what they could not on the battlefield there, a fiasco will await them,” TASS quoted Muallem as saying.
The Foreign Minister warned that the government delegation will not wait for the arrival of opposition delegations until March 24th. “The situation that took place in the first round will not be repeated. If the other party does not appear at the negotiating table on Monday, 24 hours later we will leave Geneva, and responsibility for the failure will lie with them,” he explained.
According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the government of Syria rejects all attempts to split the country. “We reject any talks about federalization. The Syrian people will defend the unity of the country,” he stressed.
In addition, the Deputy Prime Minister noted that the fate of the post of the Syrian president is a red line, and the government delegation will not discuss this issue in Geneva. At the same time, he pointed out that the UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura, who mentioned holding parliamentary and presidential elections in Syria within a period of 18 months, had exceeded his authority.
“No one has the right to raise the issue of the presidency, it belongs to the Syrian people,” he stressed, advising the UN envoy to clearly observe what is written in international documents and not to evade objectivity in favor of one side or another.