SYRIA’S official delegation has managed to put counter-terrorism on the agenda as stated by the Geneva Communiqué during a joint session concluded on Wednesday afternoon between Syria’s official delegation and the coalition delegation, in the presence of the UN envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.
The Syrian Arab Republic delegation stressed that no item can be tackled before finishing the discussion of counter-terrorism and reaching agreement on the articles of the project for implementing the communiqué.
The official delegation said in compliance with the Syrian people’s aspirations for restoring security, safety and stability, that it is calling on everyone to assume their responsibility and take a strong unified stand against terrorism.
The official delegation asserted that the Syrian people will not accept any political solution that doesn’t ‘heal its wounds’ and restore tranquillity and safety to them, which is why the delegation insisted on discussing counter-terrorism in accordance with the first Geneva Communiqué.
The official delegation noted that the other side put forth the issue of transitional government, noting that putting forth an issue doesn’t mean discussing them, and that the official delegation listened to what the other side had to say but the discussions began with the issue of terrorism.
The delegation noted that there’s still no agreed-upon agenda, as anything that comes out of Geneva 2 must be reached via accord.
The official delegation said that talk of discussing in parallel both counter-terrorism and the expanded government as some proposed is an ineffectual and impractical proposition that doesn’t achieve the desired accord.
The delegation said that it resubmitted the draft statement on counter-terrorism which it presented during the first round of talks, and that the delegation is open to discussing its articles.
The official delegation added that they also responded to the fallacies put forth by the other side on Tuesday, debunking them with documents, figures and data which showcase the crimes of terrorists and their destroying of infrastructure in Syria.
SANA’s delegate to Geneva said that the Syrian delegation called upon the other side to rise up to the high national standards of the Syrian people in regards to combating terrorism, because Syrians want to know if the other side actually wants to fight terrorism or wants to maintain its current policy.
Sources close to Syria’s official delegation said that the coalition delegation tried to start the discussions with the transitional body without approving any item of counter-terrorism, but Syria’s official delegation insisted on the item of counter-terrorism first.
• Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Walid al-Moallem, met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov in Geneva and discussed the Syrian-Russian relations, the ongoing meetings in Geneva and the necessity of following up this process through implementing the Geneva Communiqué item by item, particularly stopping violence and combating terrorism which is the first item of Geneva Communiqué.
The stances of the two sides were identical on the importance of all states’ commitment to the international resolutions related to combating terrorism and concentrating efforts to combat this phenomenon which forms a dangerous threat to security and stability in Syria, the region and the world.
The two sides agreed during the meeting to continue coordination and consultation in all issues to serve the interests of the two friendly countries and peoples.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Fayssal Mikdad, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Bashar al-Jaafari, and Advisor to the Expatriates and Foreign Minister, Ahmad Arnous, as well as the delegation accompanying Gatilov and Russia’s ambassador in Switzerland.
Following the meeting, al-Moallem said at a joint press conference with Gatilov that combating terrorism is a duty of each Syrian citizen who should assume to preserve his homeland, and anyone who lingers in that, puts signs of inquiry about the reality of his Syrian nationality.
Al-Moallem added that agreement on the item of counter-terrorism makes us assured that who wants to be a partner in building the future, his heart, brain and effort should focus on the restoration of security and stability in Syria.
‘We held constructive, productive talks on cooperation and coordination between Syria and Russia…I am very happy with the outcomes of these talks…we also discussed the topics put on the agenda of Geneva dialogue and an understanding has been made on the way how to progress in dialogue during this conference, in implementation of Geneva 1 Communiqué, to be discussed with sequence – an item following an item – and I am very satisfied over Gatilov’s visit along with the accompanying delegation,’ Al-Moallem said.
Answering a question on the coalition statement that it submitted a paper on ‘the transitional governing body’ while the Syrian official delegation discussed the topic of terrorism, al-Moallem said: ‘The coalition didn’t submit a paper, it presented a statement and the Syrian official delegation submitted a statement on counter-terrorism and the terrorist crimes perpetrated in Syria and the massacres at the hands of terrorists as the other delegation doesn’t recognise that there is terrorism in Syria.’
On the unprecedented escalation of terrorism in Syria and the massacres by gunmen in Maan in Hama and a village in al-Qunaitera which are synchronised with the current talks, al-Moallem added ‘undoubtedly, the Geneva document affirms the need for finding atmospheres of security, stability and an international suitable environment for Geneva talks, but, unfortunately, there are a lot of enemies, whether in Geneva or abroad, who will continue their conspiracies on Syria as terrorists will continue their terrorism as well.’
For his part, Gatilov affirmed that the political solution is the only way to solve the problems in Syria, put an end to violence and terrorism and find suitable conditions for a prosperous future to Syria and its people.
He described the meeting with al-Moallem and the accompanying delegation as productive, adding ‘we are very satisfied over these discussions’. Gatilov hoped that talks in Geneva would continue in accordance with the Geneva 1 Communiqué, and the Syrian official delegation would hold constructive talks.
Answering a question to a SANA delegate on Russia’s stance towards stopping violence and combating terrorism which the Syrian official delegation insists to start discussions through, Gatilov said: ‘our stance is firm that the terrorist threat is very dangerous and we acknowledge the volume of danger of this terrorism which brings hazard, not only to the Syrian people, but to the whole region.’
He added that the timing of Russia’s submitting of a draft resolution to the UN on counter-terrorism is understood as ‘we have always said that there is a terrorist threat in Syria and this threat spreads in a broad scale and we are exerting efforts to combat it’.
Gatilov affirmed that leaders of G8 have adopted a unified stance on combating terrorism and more efforts would be entered in this regard. ‘Counter-terrorism and the discussion of a transitional governing body are two important issues,’ Gatilov said, expressing belief that an agreement on the two issues would be made within Geneva discussions.
On whether US President Barack Obama had said that Russia’s hand is stained with the Syrian blood or not, Gatilov said: ‘I have no idea about that.’