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    U.N. mediator for Syria, Staffan de Mistura gives a news conference at the end of the Syria peace talks at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, March 24, 2016

    Moscow-Cairo Syrian Opposition Group Asks De Mistura for Direct Talks

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    Conflict settlement negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition must continue, one of the heads of the Moscow-Cairo opposition group at the talks, Qadri Jamil, said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Moscow-Cairo formed Syrian opposition group asked UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura for direct talks between Damascus and Syrian opposition, as well as to form a single opposition delegation, according to Qadri Jamil.

    "We asked for direct talks. Direct talks can accelerate progress. We asked for the participation of all the opposition delegations. The current situation is not normal. We should have a single opposition delegation," he told reporters.

    Jamil also added that if the opposition delegations were not united at the moment, they could be united on "minimum standards of convergence."

    "The Geneva talks must continue, must stay on track, and that is the best assistance that can be given to the Syrian people," Jamil told reporters at a media stakeout on day 10 of the second round of talks in Geneva.

    He backed UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura’s plan to continue the talks "with whomever is present."

    Jamil addressed the Saudi-backed HNC opposition group's walkout last week, saying that the Moscow-Cairo platform does not believe in excluding parties to the talks, "but if anybody wants to exclude themselves, that is their choice."

    "They should not have, by their own exclusion, veto over the talks. Nobody should force the talks to be stopped," he underscored.

    Jamil said he anticipated de Mistura to "very shortly" announce a new round of intra-Syrian talks, with the latest round expected to wrap up on Wednesday.

    The indirect Geneva talks on Syria’s reconciliation with the participation of the Damascus delegation as well as three opposition groups — the Riyadh-formed High Negotiations Committee, the Moscow-Cairo and the Hmeimim groups — focus on the topics of political transition, governance, and the constitution in the Middle Eastern country.


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    Syrian conflict, Syrian ceasefire, Geneva 3 Peace Talks, Qadri Jamil, Staffan de Mistura, Syria
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