14:30 GMT +317 October 2019
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    High Negotiations Committee (HNC) (Syrian opposition body) supporters hold a Syrian flag during a press conference on Syrian peace talks at the Place des Nations outside of the United Nations Offices on February 2, 2016 in Geneva.

    HNC May Take Part in Astana Talks If Pressured by Turkey

    © AFP 2019 / Fabrice Coffrini
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    Russian adviser to UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura Vitaly Naumkin said that representatives of the Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) may participate in the talks on Syria in Astana if Turkey, Qatar or Saudi Arabia put pressure on the HNC.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Representatives of the Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) might take part in the talks on Syria in Astana in May if Turkey, Qatar or Saudi Arabia put pressure on the HNC, a Russian adviser to UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said Monday.

    "Today, the High Negotiations Committee said they would not go to Astana. Firstly, I think, they may go, if we manage to reach an agreement with Turkey and the latter applies some pressure, or maybe Saudi Arabia and Qatar do, because they are the ones paying," Vitaly Naumkin told Rossiya 24 broadcaster.

    Naumkin added that Russia, Turkey and Iran would be able to make some progress even if the HNC did not attend the talks.

    The next round of the talks in the Kazakh capital is scheduled for May 3-4. Astana has already hosted three rounds of negotiations on Syrian settlement brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran, held on January 23-24, February 15-16 and March 14-15.


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    Intra-Syria talks, Syrian crisis, Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee (HNC), Vitaly Naumkin, Syria
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