SOCHI (Sputnik), Ksenia Shakalova — Damascus is willing to talk to everyone who believes in a political solution to the crisis but says the responsibility lies with the other side as "Syria, since the onset of the crisis, adopted a constructive pragmatic approach believing in engagement, political dialogue and shared fate for all constituents of the Syrian people," an adviser to Syrian President Bashar Assad, Bouthaina Shaaban, said commenting on the decision to hold a National Dialogue Congress, due to take place in Russia’s resort city of Sochi in early December.
"The success of the proposed Congress will depend on the various opposition groups realizing that it is high time to stop the violence, lay down their arms and engage in a national dialogue that leads to a comprehensive settlement of all issues pertaining to the current crisis," the adviser stated.
According to her, whether or not the opposition groups are "willing or even capable of engaging in a genuine political process" has yet to be determined.
Efforts of Russia, Turkey and Iran
When asked to assess the results of the meeting of the Russian, Turkish and Iranian leaders in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi, Bouthaina Shaaban said that the decisions made by the presidents would contribute to the settlement of the Syrian crisis and the eradication of terrorism.
Following his trilateral talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Putin held a separate bilateral meeting with Rouhani, during which the sides noted the progress in resolving the situation in Syria.
"Russia and Iran have provided Syria with invaluable assistance in its endeavor to defeat terrorism and restore peace to Syria. So we believe that all acts and measures taken by [the Russian and Iranian] Presidents [Vladimir] Putin and [Hassan] Rouhani would be conducive to the settlement of the crisis and the final defeat of terrorism, which amounts to a total victory of the Syrian people," Shaaban said.
The adviser stressed that Syria had always trusted Russia and Iran as its close allies.
"We believe that they will save no effort to put an end to the crisis in Syria. They have been cooperating with the Syrian army to eradicate terrorism, and preserve Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We are comfortable with all the efforts of our friends and allies," Shaaban added.
According to a statement released following the the meeting of the presidents of three ceasefire guarantors on Syria in Sochi, the countries' joint efforts since the establishment of the ceasefire regime in late December 2016 have helped to secure a "breakthrough" in bringing closer the elimination of Daesh terrorist group.
The Russia-Turkey-Iran negotiations came just a day after Syrian President Bashar Assad visited the Russian city of Sochi to discuss the Syrian settlement, with Putin saying that National Dialogue Congress meeting would be a "stimulus" for further peace discussions with the United Nations in Geneva, which have so far failed to bring the conflict in Syria to an end.