17:28 GMT30 October 2020
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    Limited opposition groups’ participation in the upcoming round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva can have a positive impact and make negotiations more substantial than the previous rounds, Mahmoud Afandi, secretary of the opposition Popular Diplomacy Movement, told Sputnik on Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Next round of the UN-mediated intra-Syrian talks is expected to start on February 23 in Geneva. So far, only Riyadh-backed High Negotiations Committee (HNC) and Cairo platform were invited for the talks from the opposition side.

    "Seems the United Nations decided to invite this time only two platforms – HNC and Cairo group. This can make the talks more substantial and serious. It looks like the world community and especially those countries that have influence on the situation in Syria have decided to conduct more serious talks now," Afandi said.

    Moscow platform of opposition, headed by leader of Popular Front for Change and Liberation Qadri Jamil, declared on Saturday it would not participate in the upcoming talks due to "special advantages" that the UN gives to the HNC, and the alleged disregard to other opposition platforms.

    Moscow platform also blamed UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura for violating the UNSC Resolution 2254 and "obstructing the historical chance" of the talks.

    Hmeimim opposition group has not received an invitation from the UN Special Envoy for Syria as well, and sees it as a violation of the UNSC Resolution 2254, the group’s official representative Mais Krydee told Sputnik earlier on Monday.

    "Now it will be a conversation between the opposition and the regime indeed. At least it will not be a ‘round-table discussion’ again," Afandi said.

    Previous rounds of UN-mediated talks in Geneva have repeatedly stumbled over the differences between various opposition factions, who failed to come out in a united front and denied each other’s right to exist.

    On February 12, the HNC announced the final composition of the delegation to participate in the upcoming settlement talks. The list comprised 21 names, including 11 opposition politicians and 10 representatives of armed groups.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed earlier on Monday that intra-Syrian talks in Geneva cannot be held without the participation of government and the entire spectrum of the opposition, as set out in the UN Security Council resolution 2254, and called on the United Nations to remedy the situation.

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    Tags:
    opposition, Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee (HNC), Geneva, Syria
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