The meeting between the Riyadh-formed High Negotiations Committee (HNC) opposition delegation and the Russian representatives in Geneva on Tuesday will direct the way forward for the Syrian peace process efforts, Political Advisor to the HNC Bassam Barabandi told Sputnik.
Earlier on Monday, HNC spokesman Salem Meslet told Sputnik that the delegation was planning to meet the Russian representatives on Tuesday.
“We want to talk with the Russians. We believe Russia, they can play major role to solve Syrian problem. The talks with them will guide us how much the process we can reach with this kind of understanding how to go forward,” Barabandi said on Monday. “We just want to sit with the Russians to see from them what they are aiming to, what their ideas [are] in their mind.”
Barabandi noted that the meeting has been rescheduled from Monday for Tuesday.
“The most important thing, the [HNC] delegation requested meeting with Russians. I think it will be held tomorrow, Tuesday,” he said. “The HNC, through the UN, they are working to schedule a meeting with the Russian delegation. It’s supposed to be today, then it’s postponed till tomorrow, most probably will be tomorrow.”
When asked about the issues that will be discussed during the meeting, the political advisor said, “First, in Syria we want to stop the war.”
“We want to fight ISIS [Daesh (outlawed in Russia)], we want to have stabilization in Syria, we want [President Bashar] Assad to leave, we need to implement resolution 2254,” he added. “So, the agenda is very clear. We don’t have something you don’t know or the world doesn’t know.”
“I’m reaching out to the Americans here, to the White House, Administration, they [delegation in Geneva] are trying to reach to the Russians. So we try to find common ground to stop this bloodshed in Syria,” Barabandi concluded.
The fourth round of UN-backed intra-Syrian talks between the government and opposition factions began on Thursday. The discussions are expected to center around governance, constitutional issues and elections in Syria.
The military conflict in Syria has been continuing since March 2011. Since September 2015, at request by Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russia has been providing military aid to the government.
Apart from conducting airstrikes on terrorist targets, Russia has been an initiator of intra-Syrian talks in Astana, which supplemented the Geneva talks. Along with Turkey, Russia is a guarantor of a nationwide Syrian ceasefire regime that took effect on December 30 last year.