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    A Syrian national flag flutters near a general view of eastern Aleppo after Syrian government soldiers took control of al-Sakhour neigborhood in Aleppo, Syria in this handout picture provided by SANA on November 28, 2016.

    OSCE Ready to Facilitate Syria Peace Process Indirectly With Expertise

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    The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said that OSCE is ready to asssist the Middle Eastern states with its expertise in conflict resolution to settle the Syrian crisis.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is ready to provide the Middle Eastern states with its expertise in conflict resolution to settle the Syrian crisis but cannot get directly involved due to lack of a territorial mandate, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said Wednesday.

    Earlier this month, Russian lower house speaker Vyacheslav Volodin suggested that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, including lawmakers from the United States, should be involved in the Syrian settlement process and engage with their counterparts from the Syrian parliament and understand the importance of talking with Syria's legitimate authorities when tackling terrorism.

    "My reaction would be one of caution because the OSCE is a regional organization. We have a mandate and the mandate goes, as we say, from Vancouver to Vladivostok but it does not cover the Middle East. So I would not involve directly the OSCE. You can think of applying the OSCE methodology in the Middle East but it should be local ownership so it should be the countries in the Middle East using the OSCE principles or OSCE procedures. We can assist them if they are interested but not as directly playing a role because it is not our mandate," Zannier said.

    Russia is a mediator in the Syrian settlement process alongside several other states. Russia, Turkey and Iran are the chief guarantors of the latest Syrian ceasefire and support the Geneva peace talks.

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    Syrian crisis, OSCE, Lamberto Zannier, Syria
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