07:59 GMT01 December 2020
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    The Damascus Platform opposition group cautioned against the danger of the armed opposition concentrating power to influence the talks on Syrian crisis settlement after Astana negotiations, spokesman of the Damascus Platform opposition group Tarek Ahmad told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Ahmad stated that inclusiveness of the intra-Syrian talks was discussed during the meeting between the representatives of the Damascus Platform and chair of the Former Affairs Committee of the Russian upper house of parliament Konstantin Kosachev in Moscow on Wednesday.

    "However, we appreciate that this military groups participated in talks and decided to be a part of the political negotiations, we won't accept them to be the only opposition, which is given a mandate to negotiate with the Syrian government. We don't [want] them to usurp the power at the negotiations at our expense," Ahmad, who is also a member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), said.

    "Important point we raised at the meeting in the Federation Council of Russia regarding Astana talks was the following: we wanted to address our concerns regarding Astana agreement which was reached between the governmental side and the military opposition excluding the political opposition's point of view," Ahmad noted.

    Ahmad also stressed that military groups could be a part of the intra-Syrian dialogue but they could not be the only negotiating party from the opposition.

    "They can be engaged in talks but not alone as we are sending a wrong signal to the Syrian population. We are saying that any small armed group that use terror acts against the Syrian government and population such as cutting Damascus off water supply, taking control of oil fields or destroying bridges can demand anything from the state. This could be a failed attempt and it could bring catastrophic results," Ahmad added.

    The international community has made several efforts to bring together representatives of government and opposition of the country to discuss settlement efforts. The latest such effort took place in Kazakhstan's Astana on Monday and Tuesday. The Astana negotiations are expected to be followed by a UN-mediated meeting in Geneva in February.

    Astana talks on Syria's crisis settlement ended up with Russia, Iran and Turkey agreeing on establishment of a trilateral mechanism to monitor ceasefire in the country, Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said Tuesday, reading out the talks’ final statement.

    The representatives of the Syrian armed opposition, who took part in the intra-Syrian talks in Astana, confirmed the commitment to the nationwide ceasefire agreement.

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    Tags:
    talks, opposition, Tarek Ahmad, Syria
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