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    Syria Accuses UK, France of Funding Terrorism, Praises Russia for Peace Efforts

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    The Damascus delegation to the Geneva talks on Syrian reconciliation slammed London and Paris for supporting terrorism and praised Moscow for its role in the peace process.

    GENEVA (Sputnik) — France and the United Kingdom are among the countries sponsoring terrorism in Syria, Bashar Jaafari, the head of the Syrian government delegation to the Geneva intra-Syrian talks, said Friday.

    "Both France and the United Kingdom are among the western countries sponsoring terrorism and using it as political weapon," Jaafari told reporters following the meeting with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

    He added that the government welcomed those who was willing to fight Daesh.

    "Fighting terrorism requires concerted efforts by all. The direct US military intervention in Syria does not help to fight Daesh….  The only way is to coordinate with the Syrian Arab Army," Jaafari concluded.

    Damascus values highly Russia’s efforts in Syrian reconciliation, in particular in Astana, according to Jaafari.

    "We assessed the tracks of Astana and Geneva. We commended [to UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura] positive and constructive Russian initiatives on stabilization of ceasefire and finding political solution, through continued cooperation between Assad and Putin," Jaafari said.

    The fifth round of talks on Syrian crisis settlement kicked off on Thursday and is expected to conclude on March 31, according to sources close to the meetings.

    The civil war in Syria has been lasting for around six years with government troops fighting against numerous opposition factions and terror organizations such as al-Nusra Front and Daesh, outlawed in Russia.

     

    The nationwide Syrian ceasefire regime was introduced on December 30, 2016. Terrorist organizations are not part of the ceasefire.

    Current Terror Attacks in Syria Aim to Derail Astana, Geneva Processes

    The ongoing terrorist attacks in Syria are aimed at derailing the Astana and Geneva processes, Damascus will continue taking part in negotiations, Jaafari said.

    "All these terrorist attacks have only one goal which is undermining talks in Astana and Geneva. They know for sure that the position of delegation of the Syrian government has always been constructive, we never threatened to walk away from the process of Astana and Geneva. All the terrorist attacks are pushing everybody towards a failure of the diplomatical and political process. This is why all the reasonable governments should stick to the political and diplomatical processes in Astana and Geneva," he told reporters.

    Opposition Astana Talks Participants Linked to Escalation in Syria

    The groups which took part in the Syria talks in Astana have a bearing in the ongoing escalation of the situation in Syria, Jaafari said.

    "It is clear that the participants with al-Nusra Front in the attack on Eastern Damascus and rural Hama are factions that have been participating in the Astana meetings," he told reporters.

    Jaafari to Discuss Counterterror 'Basket' With UN Syria Envoy Saturday

    Bashar Jaafari said he would discuss the "basket" of countering terrorism with de Mistura the following day.

    "We shall start tomorrow with discussion of fourth basket of combating terrorism, " Jaafari told reporters.

    He added that Damascus delegation does not divide baskets, but insists that "the main problem now prevailing in Syria is terrorism."

    Jaafari also said his discussions with de Mistura on Friday were focused on the issue of terrorism amid the current escalation of the situation in Syria.

     

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    Tags:
    terrorism, Intra-Syria talks, Staffan de Mistura, Bashar Jaafari, Syria, Britain, Russia, France, Geneva
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