Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said that the statements made by some western officials on the failure of the Geneva talks are incorrect and exaggerated.
As proof, Zoubi pointed to an agreement by U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahmi and senior negotiator Bashar al-Jaafari that work will continue and that there will be follow-ups to the second round of talks.
In a telephone call with Syrian TV on Saturday, Zoubi said that the coalition delegation denied completely that there is terrorism and refused to denounce it or discuss a common national vision for combating it.
He said the coalition delegation's presence in Geneva alongside western ambassadors, dozens of experts and a media army doesn't aim at implementing the first Geneva communiqué; rather it reveals an intent to deal selectively with one item.
The minister said that the Syrian Arab Republic delegation came to Geneva with clear directives from the Syrian government to discuss the Geneva communiqué as a whole, diligently and without excluding any item. But, he said, but this requires establishing common ground on counterterrorism and identifying the terrorist groups in Syria and who funds and arms them.
He pointed out that the Syrian Arab Republic delegation agreed during the last session to the agenda proposed by Brahimi, but the other delegation elected to take discussions into another tangent and recanted on all previous discussions, rejecting to discuss the first item of the communiqué which tackles counterterrorism and rejecting violence and wanted to go straight to the eighth item, as usual.
Zoubi said a massive misleading media campaign is being carried out by the usual channels and agencies since the crisis began, but said such campaigns are futile because the Syrian people are cohesive, the Syrian Army is on the ground, and state establishments are strong and operational.
He said that there may be another round of talks at a date to be specified later, noting that Brahimi was clear in his press conference on Saturday, and contrary to those who claim that he held the Syrian delegation responsible for failing to reach a result.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer