Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

A Difficult Start for Geneva 3 and a Russian-American Meeting to Prevent its Collapse - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz whilst leading the council of ministers’ session in Riyadh yesterday (SPA)

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz whilst leading the council of ministers’ session in Riyadh yesterday (SPA)

Whilst the UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura announced the “official” beginning of talks that aim to end the civil war yesterday in Geneva, followers of developments noticed UN confusion on the first day of talks despite the fact that it ended with a glimmer of hope – the arrival of the Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov who is one of the sponsors of the Geneva 3 conference. Gatilov arrived at the Swiss city to meet his American counterpart Anne Patterson who has been in Geneva for three days in an effort to support the UN envoy’s efforts.

The American-Russian meeting is expected to take place tonight and it is said that the US ambassador in charge of the Syrian case who is also in Geneva with Patterson will participate in the meeting. According to western diplomats, the Gatilov-Patterson meeting is described as strengthening political and diplomatic communication in order “to prevent the collapse of Geneva in its early days”.

Dr Munthir Makhoos, a member of the supreme negotiating body and its spokesman who is currently present in Geneva, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the opposition’s delegation will not stay in Geneva longer than this week in the event that the humanitarian demands that it insists on and that are stipulated by the Security Council Resolution 2254 are not achieved.

Among the developments that took place yesterday, the United Nations also announced that the Syrian government has agreed “in principle” to the request of an international organisation to deliver aid to the besieged towns of Madaya, Fua and Kafariya.

In the meantime, Saudi Arabia reiterated its support for the Supreme negotiating body for revolutionary forces and the Syrian opposition’s decision to participate in the Geneva conference negotiations in order to implement the Security Council’s Resolution 2254 with all of its clauses. The Saudi Council of Ministers which is led by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz yesterday emphasised Saudi Arabia’s support of the Syrian opposition and the political solution based on the principles of the Geneva 1 declaration which is guaranteed by the Security Council Resolution. It also emphasised that it continues to provide full and unconditional support to the Syrian people to meet their needs, reduce their suffering and achieve their aspirations to preserve the unity and rights of the Syrian people and Syrian territory.