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Moscow consultative meeting-20150129-1

[29/1/2015] ~ Second Day: PART 2

Consultative meetings in Moscow concluded, Syrian government delegation agrees to “Moscow Principles”

(Haifa Said, SANA, 29/1/2015) ~ Rounds of discussions between the delegation of the Syrian government and that of the opposition figures within Moscow consultative meeting concluded Thursday.

The government delegation, along with five opposition parties and other figures agreed to a set of principles presented by Russia, which were called “Moscow Principles”.

The principles mainly focused on preserving Syria’s sovereignty and unity, fighting all forms of terrorism, settling the crisis peacefully and politically and rejecting any foreign interference.

The text of the “Moscow Principles” is as follows:

Over the past four years, there has been an unprecedented spread of terrorism in the Syrian territory that has left tens of thousands of victims among citizens and caused millions of others to suffer.

Furthermore, terrorists and extremists have been brought into the Syrian territories from all corners of the world, with our country being faced with grave dangers, most serious among them probably is the extremists attempting to impose a barbaric rule, which has nothing to do with the noble values of the Syrian people and has torpedoed the deep-rooted tradition of peaceful coexistence among their various components.

In addition to that, its economic and social structures, which were built by the efforts of generations of Syrians, are being destroyed, and its invaluable cultural, historical and civilization heritage is being pillaged, stolen and vandalized.

Based on what was mentioned above, all the peaceful national forces in the Syrian society and those who love their homeland are required to take decisive measures to have the situation changed as soon as possible.

In this regard, it is necessary that political foundations for a national Syrian-Syrian dialogue be laid that would enable all of the Syrians to settle the urgent issues on the national agenda through a comprehensive national dialogue without preconditions.

Among those there are the following principles:

  • 1 – Maintaining the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.

  • 2 – Combating terrorism with all its forms and manifestations, and seeking to have concerted efforts to fight the terrorists and extremists operating in the Syrian land.

  • 3 – Settling the crisis in Syria through peaceful political means on a consensual ground based on the principles of Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012.

  • 4 – Determining Syria’s future on the basis of a democratic and free expression of the Syrian people’s will.

  • 5 – Rejecting any foreign interference in the Syrian affairs.

  • 6 – Maintaining the army and the armed forces as an embodiment of national unity, and preserving and developing the state institutions.

  • 7 – The rule of law and respecting the principle of citizenship and equality among citizens before the law.

  • 8 – Rejecting any foreign armed presence on the territories of the Syrian Arab Republic without its government’s consent.

The participants in Moscow consultative meeting expressed their thanks to the friendly government of Russia and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences for hosting this meeting and are looking forward to continuing the Syrian-Syrian consultative meetings in this regard.

Earlier, sources from Moscow reported that every small group of opposition figures presented its own paper and there was no agreement on any joint paper, with the opposition Coalition-backed Coordination Committee rejecting the “Moscow Principles”.

Information from Moscow also indicated that there seemed to be a semi-agreement to continue meetings in Moscow, a date for which is to be determined later.

Three rounds of discussions were held on Wednesday between the delegation of the Syrian government and that of the opposition figures in the framework of the Russian-hosted consultative meeting.

Closed-door meetings that brought together representatives of various opposition factions were held last Monday and Tuesday as part of the meeting which, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, seeks to provide an avenue and a forum for discourse and discussions with representatives of the Syrian government.


Moscow consultative meeting-2-750

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, gesturing at center left, welcomes participants of consultations between representatives of the Syrian government and the Syrian opposition in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015. Lavrov said the meeting should pave the way for further talks on conditions for a political settlement. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) (The Associated Press)

[28/1/2015] ~ First Day: PART 1

Three rounds of Moscow consultative meeting held

(SANA, 28/1/2015) ~ Three rounds of discussions were held on Wednesday between the delegation of the Syrian government and that of the opposition figures in the framework of the Russian-hosted consultative meeting in the Russian capital Moscow. The meetings were concluded in the evening, and will resume at 10 am on Thursday.

During the third round, the government’s delegation criticized the opposition delegation for refraining from mentioning the Turkish, Qatari, Saudi, U.S., and Israeli roles in the crisis in Syria.

The delegation said that those who want to take part in inter-Syrian dialogue without foreign interference are welcome to come to Damascus, adding that the Syrian government supports moderate figures, but not the armed so-called “moderate opposition” sponsored by the United States, as all those who bear arms outside the framework of the state are terrorists.

The delegation also voiced solidarity with the Russian government and people in the wake of the terrorist attack on the Russian Embassy in Damascus which took place on Wednesday.

At the beginning of the first round, the participants observed a moment of silence in honor of the souls of Syria’s martyrs, both military members and civilians, upon a request by the government delegation.

Syria’s UN Permanent Representative Bashar al-Jaafari, who is heading the government’s delegation, delivered a speech at the opening of discussions in which he stressed that the consultative meeting should not be a form of grandstanding.

“Our consultative meeting should be a serious platform to reflect the goal of the meeting, which comes amid a lot of suffering, losses and challenges facing our dear homeland,” said al-Jaafari.

He stressed that the Syrian government has since the outset of the crisis been doing everything necessary to protect the citizens and homeland.

The government, he added, “has been open to dialogue with everybody, and has assumed its constitutional responsibilities.”

He referred to the package of amendments to legislations and laws made by the government, including the Parties Law, which “has drawn political life and allowed the forming of parties to ensure political pluralism.”

Al-Jaafari also cited the issuing of new laws for Local Administration and Media and the government’s engaging of all spectra of the Syrian society to draft a new constitution that was approved by the majority of the Syrian people in a referendum.

Al-Jaafari reminded that the Syrian government has, furthermore, responded to all Arab and international initiatives, with which it cooperated constructively and transparently.

However, those initiatives, he said, have not yet come to fruition due to the interference of some countries inside and outside the region, which seek “to hijack the independent Syrian decision and have been working within different agendas to debilitate the Syrian state’s components.”

He dismissed the “dangerous escalation” that was spawned by the unprecedented regional and international intervention in the war in Syria, an escalation represented in “terrorism being employed as a political means and weapon.”

The terrorist war waged against Syria, he added, has shifted the staunchest among those who have tried to veil the existence of terrorism in the region in general and in Syria in particular form a state of “complete denial” to a state of “full acknowledgment” of an international terrorism existing and is being backed by those who tried to cover it up.

This acknowledgment, al-Jaafari said, was ineluctable when “that terrorism has backfired on them and started to directly threaten their societies.”

He questioned the West’s double standards on viewing terrorists, wondering how terrorists could be seen as “jihadists in Syria when they were killing our people,” and they become terrorists in “the West’s capitals when their own people were killed.”

The Syrian Ambassador to the UN affirmed that fighting the terrorist organizations and combating terrorism and wahhabi thinking is the goal and duty of every Syrian “as a priority in any roadmap to bring the crisis to an end.”

He highlighted that it is the Syrian army’s steadfastness in the face of terrorism and the people’s rallying around it which what prompted the Israeli enemy to publicly and directly intervene militarily in support of the terrorist groups.

Al-Jaafari also underscored the openness which the Syrian government has shown to “all the sincere efforts seeking to help it in reducing the humanitarian burden” having cooperated with the UN and other international organizations, besides its own relentless efforts to secure its people’s humanitarian needs.

He noted in this context that a seventh Humanitarian Response Plan was signed with the UN for 2015, pointing out that 75 percent of the total scale of humanitarian aid distributed across Syria is borne by the Syrian government.

The Syrian Representative to the UN took a swipe at the organizations which claim to be playing a humanitarian role in their “suspicious” relations with some parties of the opposition, whereas those organizations’ real goal is “delivering weapons, explosives and killers” to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Jabhat al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups.

It has also become very known that the alleged “aid” which Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been sending to the terrorists is in fact weapons and equipment aimed at killing the Syrian, said al-Jaafari, adding that the weapons-laden trucks which were seized by the Turkish government and those sent by Saudi Arabia to Jabhat al-Nusra across the Jordanian borders are a most telling proof of that.

Al-Jaafari used the opportunity of the meeting to call upon “all national opposition” groups to support the immense effort put by the Syrian government to ensure aid delivery to the beneficiaries and not politicize the humanitarian issue.

He stressed that the Syrian government views the “national opposition” as a partner in the Syrian-Syrian dialogue process, which necessitates concerted efforts to secure the restoration of security and stability to Syria.

Al-Jaafari pointed out that the participation of the government’s delegation in Moscow meetings, that is based on what came in the Russian invitation in terms of exchanging views and ideas on what could be a ground for any inter-Syrian dialogue to be held in Damascus, asserts the Syrian national principles, namely respecting the national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The government delegation’s participation, he added, also stresses the principles of respecting the Syrian people’s will and the rule of law, maintaining the state institutions and regarding the army and armed forces as an embodiment of national unity and its independent decision and the struggle for the full liberation of the Israeli-occupied Golan.

At the beginning of his speech, al-Jaafari offered thanks to the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies Vitaly Naumkin for hosting this consultative meeting that is aimed at discussing the prospects of holding a comprehensive and open inter-Syrian dialogue in Damascus.

Qadri Jamil said Geneva 1 was a cover-up and had gaps, noting that it needs to be updated because when it was agreed upon, terrorism was not clear to everybody.

SANA correspondent in Moscow reported that a number of opposition figures presented a paper with items to the government delegation.

Closed-door meetings that brought together representatives of various opposition factions were held last Monday and Tuesday as part of Russia-sponsored meetings which, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, seek to provide an avenue and a forum for discourse and discussions with representatives of the Syrian government.

In a press conference on Monday, Lavrov said the goal of the meetings is to establish direct contact between the two sides, describing them as an effort to reinvigorate dialogue without conditions to pave the way towards resolving the crisis in Syria.





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