The seventh round of Intra-Syrian talks were “constructive” yet concluded without “major breakthroughs”, according to Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Office in Geneva Alexei Borodavkin, who was speaking from a press briefing at the Russian Mission in Geneva on Saturday.

SOT, Alexei Borodavkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Office in Geneva (Russian): “The recent seventh round of Intra-Syrian talks finished yesterday in Geneva. It ended without major breakthroughs; however, we consider that the discussions went in a constructive way and that we achieved some positive results. First of all, I would like to underline that with the impact of the Astana negotiations, top-level contacts on the sidelines of the Hamburg summit, and recent statements made by the leaders and foreign ministers of those countries, which are key players in Syrian settlement, there has been some correction of the position of the High Negotiations Committee.”

SOT, Alexei Borodavkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Office in Geneva (Russian): “The main idea of this correction is that the opposition in this round has never mentioned the need for the immediate resignation of President Bashar al-Assad and the legitimate Syrian government. Finally, this is very important since even radical opposition members and their foreign sponsors from western countries of the Gulf realised that the priority task is to establish peace in Syria, and then to negotiate political reforms in the context of normalisation of the situation in the country. Thus, the objectives of the opposition have transformed a bit. Now they are talking about not resignation of the legitimate Syrian government and Bashar Assad, but about reaching agreements with him on political reforms.”

SOT, Alexei Borodavkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Office in Geneva (Russian): “I consider that it’s the Astana process as well as the agreement on the four de-escalation zones which have affected the opposition leaders in a positive way. Now they are holding talks much more constructively and try to show flexibility if possible.”

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