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    People walk near a Syrian national flag at the President bridge in Damascus, Syria March 14, 2016

    Damascus Yet to Decide on Participation in Next Syria Support Group Meeting

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    Damascus has not taken a decision on participation in the next International Syria Support Group (ISSG) ministerial meeting in Vienna as yet, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Thursday, Haddad held a meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

    "We met with Bogdanov, he informed us about the ISSG meeting involving all the parties. Of course, the question remains whether or not Syria [government] will participate [in the meeting]," Haddad said.

    On Thursday, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told RIA Novosti that the ISSG ministerial is slated to be held on May 17 in Vienna.

    Regardless of it's participation, however, Damascus believes the upcoming International Syria Support Group (ISSG) ministerial meeting should center on the finalization of the list of terrorist groups operating in Syria, according to Haddad.

    "We demand this meeting to determine the list of terrorist organizations. There must be no room for maneuver for any groups that despite their participation in the political process conduct terrorist activities shelling population and urban neighborhoods on a daily basis. Therefore, we need to define a list of terrorist organizations," the ambassador told Sputnik.

    According to Damascus, Ahrar al-Sham and Jaish al-Fatah militant groups are part of the Nusra Front and should also be designated terrorist organizations at the talks, Haddad pointed out.

    The International Syria Support Group, an international format aimed to resolve the Syrian issues, was formed in November 2015 shortly after the beginning of the Syrian talks in Vienna.

    The format currently involves Russia, the Arab League countries, the European Union and some of its member states, China, Iran, Turkey, the United Nations and the United States.


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    Syrian ceasefire, Syrian conflict, Geneva 3 Peace Talks, International Syria Support Group (ISSG), Mikhail Bogdanov, Syria
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