MOSCOW, February 9. The Russian Embassy in Syria maintains contacts with the entire spectrum of political forces in Syria, except the representatives of the militants. This was stated in an interview with Russian Ambassador to Syria Alexander Kinsac.
The Syrian conflict and the main stages of its settlement
“We maintain contacts with almost all the political parties and associations in Syria, as with those who have registered in accordance with local legislation and “non-systemic opposition”, – he said. In fact, we not only communicate with members of the IAF. Our partners are all those who put before itself political problems and resolve them through political means”.
Among the opposition, with whom the Embassy maintains contacts, Kinshuk noted the national coordination Committee of forces for democratic change. “His representatives, in particular, was included in a delegation of the opposition, formed the Riyadh Higher Committee on negotiations, he added. – Among our contactees and those political forces who are trying to form an alternative opposition delegation, the so-called “Lausanne group” button to conduct a dialogue in Geneva with the Syrian government. Actively working with the so-called Patriotic opposition, whose leaders held their own Congress in Damascus in December last year.”
The Ambassador indicated that in contacts with the opposition of the Russian diplomats configure its representatives to a constructive dialogue with the authorities on the basis of the inevitability of a political solution, which must be the product of the consent of the Syrians. “The recent attempt to launch an inter-Syrian negotiations in Geneva, as you know, turned out to be inconclusive, he noted. And it occurred not through the fault of our Syrian partners. We will continue working closely with all Syrian parties to ensure the success of the next round of negotiations under the UN auspices”.
When carrying out contacts with representatives of various political forces diplomats also believe that one of the major challenges is to consolidate efforts in the fight against terrorism. “Without it (this issue – approx. ed.) it is impossible to guarantee progress in relation to other component elements of the political settlement in the country”, – said Kinshuk.
On the criteria of the definition of terrorist groups
The views of Russia and Syria about which groups in Syria are terrorists, are mostly the same, the diplomat said.
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“In many ways our views are the same, including the criteria for determining those armed groups against whom there are serious grounds to qualify them as terrorist, he said. – The main and most notorious gangs we have similar estimates with the Syrians”.
The Ambassador pointed out that “this issue is much more complicated than it might seem at first glance”. “For example, in Syria there are the umbrella associations such as “Jaish al-Fatah”, which includes, along with the dominant thegrapevine type “dzhebhat EN-Nusra” and other units that some of our international partners are trying to position as “moderate” opposition. With them, often forced, also cooperate with small local illegal armed groups, formed from local residents. Burn them all “under one comb” to terrorists, it would be wrong,” he explained.
Given these circumstances Russia exchanges with the Syrian government for relevant information on the activities of the various illegal armed groups, including specific data about committed crimes against civilians, continued Kinsac. “Moment of truth” in this regard may be the stage of global ceasefire (if Syrians agree on that), he added. Then those groups that refuse to end the violence and lay down their weapons or to turn it against ISIS (banned in the Russian Federation terrorist group “Islamic state”), “Dzhabhat EN-Nusra” (terrorist group forbidden in the Russian Federation), and the like, accordingly, to choose the wrong side in an armed confrontation with terrorist groups in Syria and will be considered as legitimate targets”.
About the settlement of the Syrian crisis
The settlement of the crisis in Syria is closely linked to the need to adequately modernize the political system, however, the agreement must be supported by the majority of the population, the diplomat said.
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“People feel more and more tired of the protracted crisis. First of all, they want an end to the violence and a return to normal life, he said. But I see no point in reasoning, now that is more important and more necessary – to stop the fratricidal war, or to carry out profound political reforms. These are interrelated challenges that need to be addressed in parallel”.
Kinsac indicated that to achieve a comprehensive and lasting solution to Deplete the country’s civil crisis, Syrians need to agree about what will become of their country.”This, in turn, means that change is necessary and inevitable, he said. – And here’s what they will have to solve in the framework of inter-Syrian negotiations.” Providing, of course, the understanding that achieved by the authorities and the opposition with foreign assistance agreements must be supported by the majority of the population”.
The diplomat noted that the yield on the normalization of the situation in Syria spelled out in the “road map”, elaborated at the meetings of the International support group in Syria. “It provides that under the holding of free democratic elections will be determined by the actual balance between the major Syrian political forces and, accordingly, the extent of their participation in future power structures, he continued. – I assume this should be an important prerequisite for a long-term solution to the current crisis, which is naturally linked to the need for adequate modernization of the political system in the country.”
The Ambassador expressed confidence that such a scenario “the best way would be in keeping with Russia’s interests, as soon as he will open for us new possibilities for the development of multifaceted mutually beneficial cooperation with the Syrian partners in the post-conflict period”.
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