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Russia Sees ‘Correction’ in Syrian Opposition’s Approach towards Assad | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A fighter amid the destruction in Syria’s Aleppo. (AFP)

Moscow, Beirut – Russian Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Alexei Borodavkin said on Saturday that the UN-led Syria talks have a chance to make progress because demands for the overthrow of regime leader Bashar Assad have receded.

Borodavkin told reporters that the seventh round of talks, which ended in Geneva on Friday, produced positive results, especially a “correction” in the approach of the High Negotiations Committee, the main opposition delegation.

“The essence of this correction is that during this round, the opposition never once demanded the immediate resignation of Assad and the legitimate Syrian regime,” the Russian envoy said.

Borodavkin said that the HNC has realized that peace should be first reached and then discussions could be launched regarding political reforms.

“If they again slide into… ultimatums and preconditions that are not realistic, then this will not fly. This will lead the negotiations, be it direct or indirect, into a deadlock,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Syrian regime violated on Saturday the US-Russian truce in southern Syria by shelling the city of Daraa al-Balad.

However, despite the violations, the truce held in the area.

The regime is seeking to isolate the Damascus eastern suburbs of Jobar from eastern Ghouta. Regime warplanes launched on Saturday five airstrikes in Jobar and the town of Ain Tarma and its surroundings at the western outskirts of eastern Ghouta.

Fierce battles also erupted at the frontlines of Arafa in Jobar and other frontlines in Wadi Tarma and its surrounding.

Also on Saturday, there were attempts to contain a near confrontation between Ahrar Al-Sahm and Jabhat Tahrir al-Sham in Sarakib in the Idlib countryside where the two forces have called for military reinforcements.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported a decrease in the frequency of violations in the three southern provinces of Souweida, Queintra and Daraa, following the southern truce, which began on July 9 following a US-Russian-Jordanian agreement.