03:15 GMT +310 December 2019
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    Syrians walk past a billboard bearing a national flag and a slogan which reads in Arabic You are the future and long live the country in Damascus. file photo

    Russia, Syria 'Absolutely Opposed' to Introducing Federal Gov't in Damascus

    © AFP 2019 / LOUAI BESHARA
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    Neither Moscow nor Damascus will back Syria's federalization, which is totally out of line with the concept of territorial integrity, according to writer and media host Stephen Lendman.

    In an interview with Sputnik, writer and media host Stephen Lendman ruled out the idea of Moscow and Damascus supporting the federalization of Syria, which he said is fully out of sync with the principle of territorial integrity.

    His remarks came ahead of the beginning of a new round of peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition, where the possible federalization of Syria is expected to be high on the agenda. The talks are scheduled for March 14.

    "I think Russia and Syria are absolutely opposed to this. I cannot imagine Moscow or Damascus will support federal division of Syria," Lendman said.

    He remained downbeat about the future of the Geneva peace talks, which he said are very unlikely to resolve the Syrian crisis.

    The only way to do that is to cut support to terrorist groups, which are sponsored by the United States and Saudi Arabia, according to Lendman.

    The talks on Syrian reconciliation began in Geneva on January 29; on February 3, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura decided to postpone the talks as the parties were unable to reach a compromise on a number of issues.

    The opposition and government delegations blame each other for the breakdown of the negotiations.

    On February 22, Russia and the United States reached an agreement on the ceasefire in Syria. The ceasefire took effect at midnight on February 27, Damascus time. It does not apply to terrorist groups operating in the country, including Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) and the Al-Nusra Front.

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    agenda, federalization, crisis, government, talks, territorial integrity, Syria, Russia
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