Three rounds of discussions were held on Wednesday between delegations of the Syrian government and opposition figures at the Russian-hosted consultative meeting in the capital Moscow. The meetings concluded in the evening, and were set to resume Thursday morning.
During the third round of talks, the government’s delegation criticized the opposition for refraining from mentioning the Turkish, Qatari, Saudi, US, and Israeli roles in the Syrian crisis.
The delegation stated that those who wish to take part in an inter-Syrian dialogue without foreign interference are welcome to come to Damascus, adding that the Syrian government supports moderate figures, but not the armed “moderate opposition” sponsored by the United States, as all those who bear arms outside the institutions of the state are considered terrorists.
The delegation also voiced solidarity with the Russian government and people in the wake of the terrorist attack on the Russian Embassy in Damascus, which took place on Wednesday.
At the beginning of the first round of talks, participants observed a moment of silence in honor of the souls of Syria’s martyrs, both military members and civilians, upon a request from the government delegation.
Syria’s UN Permanent Representative Bashar al-Jaafari, head of the government’s delegation, delivered a speech at the opening of discussions in which he stressed that the consultative meeting should not be a form of grandstanding.
“Our consultative meeting should be a serious platform to reflect the goal of the meeting, which comes amid a lot of suffering, loss and challenges facing our dear homeland”, said Jaafari.
He stressed that the Syrian government has been doing everything necessary to protect the citizens and homeland since the outset of the crisis.
The government, he added, “has been open to dialogue with everybody, and has assumed its constitutional responsibilities”.
He referred to the package of amendments to legislation and laws made by the government, including the Parties Law, which “has drawn political life and allowed the forming of parties to ensure political pluralism”.
Jaafari also cited the issuance of new laws for local administration and media, together with the engagement of all areas of Syrian society to draft a new constitution approved by the majority of the Syrian people in a referendum.
Jaafari reminded his audience that the Syrian government has responded to all Arab and international initiatives, with which it cooperated constructively and transparently.