07:49 GMT +317 July 2019
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    UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura arrives to attend the first session of Syria peace talks at Astana's Rixos President Hotel on January 23, 2017.

    Syria Peace Talks Should Be Direct, Include Kurds - Russian Envoy to UN

    © AFP 2019 / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV
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    The Syrian conflict settlement talks expected later this month should be conducted directly between the government and the opposition and include the Kurds, Russian envoy to UN Office in Geneva Alexei Borodavkin told reporters.

    GENEVA (Sputnik) — UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has postponed the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva from this week to February 20.

    "We believe that these negotiations should be direct, that the opposition delegations should be broadly representative of all political forces in modern-day Syria who seek a peaceful settlement of the conflict in that country, including the Kurds," Borodavkin said Thursday.

    He reiterated the UN Security Council resolution's provision allowing de Mistura to form a final list of the Syrian opposition delegation.

    "We believe that the opposition delegation should include representatives from the Moscow, Cairo, Astana and Khmeimim platforms, as well as the Riyadnh group and those members of the armed opposition who are taking part in meetings in Astana," Borodavkin said.

    According to Borodavkin, there should not be any new delays to the start of the intra-Syria talks in Geneva, favourable conditions for holding them were created thanks to the efforts of Russia, Iran, Turkey and Jordan.

    "Thanks to the efforts of Russia, Iran and Turkey, and inclusion of Jordan recently, rather favourable conditions have been created for holding of another round of the intra-Syria talks. And we hope that there will be no further delays of the timeframes of the next round of talks, and the office of the UN special envoy will fulfil its mandate chosen for it by the Security Council," Borodavkin said.

    Russia expects that it will able to improve its cooperation with the United States on Syria and begin joint practical work on fighting terrorism in the country after changes to the US staff in Geneva, Alexei Borodavkin said.

    "There are staff changes going on in the US team in Geneva that tasks itself with Syria. We hope that they will end soon and we shall not only continue our cooperation with the US side, but bring it to a new level, give it a new practical content in accordance with the priorities relevant both for Russia and the United States in what is related to fighting international terrorism on the Syrian territory," Borodavkin said.

    Moreover, according to the envoy, the previously created mechanisms on Syria should be preserved and perfected.

    "We believe that all developments and mechanisms managed to be created, or are planned to be established in the course of our negotiations with both the United States as well as within the International Syria Support Group, deserve preservation, further improvement and development," Borodavkin said Thursday.

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    Syrian Kurds, United Nations, Alexei Borodavkin, Turkey, Syria, Russia
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