04:16 GMT22 October 2020
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    The Russian envoy to the UN Geneva Office welcomed the Damascus delegation's constructive approach to intra-Syrian talks in Geneva.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Syrian government delegation at the indirect peace talks in Geneva has been very constructive in their approach to the reconciliation process, Russian envoy to the UN Geneva Office Alexei Borodavkin told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    "The Syrian [government] delegation has shown a constructive approach. Even before they arrived in Geneva, Syrian representatives said they were ready for talks, including on the transitional period, and said they were open for direct negotiations if conditions are right," Borodavkin said.

    A new round of proximity talks between the Syrian government and opposition began in the Swiss city last week. It is being mediated by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

    Borodavkin said the Damascus delegation had praised the roadmap for change tabled by de Mistura and quoted them as saying that, "they regard humanitarian issues as part of the agenda, including the issue of freeing arrested people and war prisoners."

    "When it comes to the developing of parameters of the political transition period [in Syria], it can not be done without the direct contact between the Syrian parties of the negotiations. The participants of the Geneva process, and UN mediators should proceed from this," Borodavkin said.

    On Monday, the Riyadh-backed opposition's High Negotiations Committee (HNC) suspended its participation, citing alleged recent violations of the cessation of hostilities and a worsening situation with humanitarian aid access.

    Decisions on Syrian Governance Should Be Up to People

    The Syrians should decide on the form of governance in their country, including the proposed triple vice-presidency, Alexei Borodavkin told Sputnik.

    UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, who is mediating indirect Syria talks in Geneva, floated an idea last week that the current Syrian president should devolve powers to three vice-presidents. He said later that the proposal had come from experts at the peace talks and its discussion was in the early stage.

    "The issue of Syrian presidency, changes to Syria’s constitution should be settled by the Syrians. The talks can only work on proposals to this effect. But it should be up to Syrians to decide during free and fair vote on the constitution and the future leader," Borodavkin said, commenting on the idea of the three vice-presidents.


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