Mikdad: Upcoming Geneva Peace Talks Must Engage Syria’s Genuine Friends

Political efforts to solve the Syrian crisis should include all regional and international sides at the upcoming Geneva peace talks in May, says Syrian deputy foreign minister

Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad said that any political process on the Syrian crisis that excludes Syria’s genuine friends, like Iran, would not be legitimate process, while any process seeking to negate the Moscow talks would not end positively.

“The Geneva process, initiated by Staffan de Mistura, the international Envoy to Syria, should engage all regional and international sides of good efforts and white hands towards the Syrian people,” Mikdad said in an article published by the Lebanese al-Binaa newspaper on Saturday.

He added the success of any political endeavors towards the crisis must consider the expertise of Russia and the will and determination demonstrated by the positive outcomes of the recent Moscow meetings.

Mikdad called on de Mistura for “a studied preparation”, with the approval of states committed to the UN resolutions agreed upon by participants of the Moscow talks.

“Without a consensus on considering terrorism as the main danger that poses a threat to the Syrians and that the war on terrorism is the joint mission for the conferees, yet, considering the Syrian army as the backbone in the war against terrorism, there won’t be opportunities for any political track”, Mikdad said.

Mikdad added that it has become crystal clear, since the failure of Geneva II and de Mistura’s efforts to freeze fighting in Aleppo, that there is an external role standing as an obstacle to any political solution to the crisis in Syria. This role, he said, is adopted by states that were referred to in the UN resolutions on counter-terrorism, particularly resolutions 2170, 2178 and 2199, in reference to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan.

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