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    Syrian Ambassador to the U.N. Bashar al Jaafari (C) attends a news conference during the Geneva peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland January 31, 2016

    Syrian Government Refuses to Negotiate With Terrorists at Geneva Talks

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    The Syrian government will not negotiate with terrorists, the head of the government delegation, Bashar Jaafari, said Sunday.

    GENEVA (Sputnik) — On Friday, the highly-anticipated talks on Syrian reconciliation mediated by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura began in the Swiss city of Geneva.

    "We are not holding talks with terrorists. This is exactly why the special envoy [Staffan de Mistura] insisted on having indirect talks… this is precisely why we do not know yet the composition of the delegations. We don't deal with terrorists and we are not the only ones who are saying that," Jaafari told reporters at a press conference during the ongoing peace talks in Geneva.

    He also said that there are certain foreign powers that are fuelling bloodshed in Syria by using terrorists as a "political weapon."

    "Like any other government, we have the duty to protect our own people and territory, and show everyone that those who are imposing such bloodshed on Syria are not Syrians. They are foreign powers endorsing foreign agendas aiming at putting political pressure on the Syrian government by using terrorists as a political weapon."

    Saudi Arabia and Jordan are to blame for a delay in the talks on Syrian reconciliation in Geneva, Bashar Jaafari said.

    "Now we have a very big gap in identifying who is terrorist and who is not. Who is opposition and who is not. These two important pillars of the UNSC [United Nations Security Council] resolution 2254 and the Vienna statement have not been fulfilled yet, by the [UN] Special Envoy [Staffan de Mistura], neither by the Saudi government, nor by the Jordanian government," Jaafari told reporters.

    He added that the first step toward Syria settlement is to stop Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia from sending terrorists to the Syrian territories.

    In December, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on settling the Syrian conflict, which reaffirmed the goals of the Vienna agreements to bring the entire spectrum of political groups in the crisis-torn country to the negotiating table.


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