03:58 GMT +314 November 2019
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    Qadri Jamil, center, chairman of the Syrian opposition's Moscow group, secretary of the People's Will Party and one of the leaders of the Popular Front for Change and Liberation, with Jamal Suleiman, right, a representative of the Syrian opposition's Cairo group, during a news conference at the Rossiya Segodnya International Multimedia Press Center in Moscow

    Joint Delegation of Opposition for Syria Peace Talks Still Hard-to-Reach Aim

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    Middle East
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    Formation of a joint delegation of the opposition that could participate in the Syrian conflict settlement talks is still facing a number of difficulties and is unlikely to be achieved in the near future, representative of Cairo opposition group Jamal Suleimani told Sputnik on Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) On Friday, members of various factions of the Syrian opposition met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow and discussed among other issues the possibility to form a single delegation for the upcoming round of Geneva talks.

    "It will be wise if we go to Geneva in one delegation, but it is not a near target to achieve now. It needs lots of work, and it needs regional and international understanding in order to achieve it," Suleimani said.

    Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee (HNC) of the opposition has been the main opponent to the idea of forging a joint delegation, insisting on its exclusive right to represent the Syrian opposition movement.

    HNC General Coordinator Riyad Hijab did not attend the meeting in Moscow, though he had received a personal invitation.

    "If there are some countries that are in favor of this idea, and others are not, I don’t think it will be realistic. Unfortunately many opposition fronts are allied to certain countries. So they don’t make independent decisions in cases like this," Suleimani said.

    He added that the Cairo platform of the opposition is fully "in support of the idea to be part of a united delegation."

    The new round of the UN-mediated talks on the Syrian settlement is expected to take place in Geneva in February.

    The Arab countries including Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf states should join future rounds of negotiations on the Syrian settlement as their participation is fundamental for working out a sustainable peace plan, representative of Cairo opposition group Jamal Suleiman said.

    "The Egyptians can play a fundamental and important role in this direction as well as other Arab countries. I believe that more Arab countries would get involved in this process such as Egypt and the Gulf states as well as Jordan as it is a neighbor and besides this country is hosting over a million of Syrian refugees and is seriously affected by the situation in Syria," Suleiman said.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ahead of the Syrian settlement talks in Astana held on January 23-24 expressed hope that Egypt would join the negotiations, while Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Iraq could take part in them at subsequent stages. However, none of the Arab states participated in the talks.

    The next round of UN-mediated talks in Geneva was expected to take place on February 8. On Friday, Lavrov said that the United Nations had decided to postpone the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva until the end of the month.

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