22:36 GMT17 February 2020
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    The international community should work with Russia as a key stakeholder in Syria for the suspended intra-Syrian talks to prove successful, the chairperson of a cross-party working group on relations with Russia in the British parliament told Sputnik.

    LONDON (Sputnik) – Less than a week after convening the much-anticipated talks between Syrian government and opposition members, Special UN Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura announced the talks would be suspended until February 25.

    "Everybody wants to get some conference on Syria carrying. Russia is a very important player and if we want to sort out a migrant crisis in Europe, we need peace in Syria and we cannot get peace in Syria without Russians and Americans talking to each other and to the EU and to Great Britain," sir Edward Leigh said.

    The lawmaker reiterated the need to find common ground around the UN Security Council resolution 2254 provisions for a political transition in Syria and an 18-month timeline for national elections under UN supervision.

    "I am aware of the Russian position on [Syrian President] Bashar Assad," Leigh stressed. "We simply need to get talks off the ground as quickly as possible and get some sort of peace agreement as quickly as possible. We have to work with Russia, trying to make this possible," he stressed.

    Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with the army loyal to President Bashar Assad fighting several opposition factions and militant groups, including Islamic State, outlawed in Russia, the United States and many other countries.

    Russia, which considers Assad to be the legitimate authority in Syria, launched an anti-terrorist air campaign in the country at Assad’s request in September 2015.

    Moscow has also been assisting the devastated Syrian population with humanitarian aid, and has served as an active mediator at the Syria talks in a bid to help facilitate an exclusively political solution to the ongoing conflict.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    terrorism, operation, air campaign, Daesh, Syria, United Kingdom, Russia
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