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Jarba Studies Expansion of Opposition Delegation, Excludes Regime Figures

Jarba headed to Moscow ahead of the second round of peace talks
Jarba Studies Expansion of Opposition Delegation, Excludes Regime Figures

In its first visit to Moscow, the delegation of Syrian National Coalition headed by its president, Ahamd Jarba, sought to jumpstart the relationship between the opposition and Russia.


Following his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Jarba described a "positive atmosphere" and said both parties stressed the importance of executing the Geneva I declaration as a basis for negotiations.


While the first round of official talks failed to achieve any agreement between the two parties, Russia welcomed Jarba, indicating a willingness from Moscow to engage with the opposition. At a press conference after the meeting, Jarba said there is an intention for greater communication in the next stage.


For his part, Lavrov praised the Coalition's decision to participate in Geneva II, saying the decision "was not easy" and "a test for the peaceful political solution". But Lavrov also warned that some parties "are still betting on the military solution".


Jarba confirmed the Coalition's determination to participate in the second round of negotiations, "despite the fact that we have not received any sign from the regime that shows its commitment to Geneva I."


Jarba said the opposition delegation will include new parties and figures, but stressed the refusal of any figure that has a connection with the Syrian regime.


He said the position of both parties remained the same on Geneva I as a basis for any compromise, including the formation of a transitional governing body with full executive powers.


Jarba added that the opposition had asked Moscow to play a role in improving the humanitarian conditions in Syria, adding that "Russia understands the attitude of the Coalition better now".


Jarba also spoke about an "important Russian role both in the negotiations phase and the upcoming transitional phase".


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer


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