Syrian government to participate in upcoming talks in Vienna

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Damascus, Jan 19 (IANS) The Deputy of the UN special Envoy to Syria has said the Syrian government has agreed to take part in the planned Syrian talks in Vienna, Austria later this month.

In a press briefing following his meeting with Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekadd, Ramzi Ezzedine Ramzi said on Thursday that Mekdad informed him about the approval of the Syrian government to take part in the Vienna talks, Xinhua reported.

Meanwhile, Ramzi hoped for a positive engagement in the Vienna talks by the participants, linking the success of the Vienna talks with the success of another Syrian talks that are supported by Russia and will take place after the Vienna talks in the Russian resort city of Sochi.

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“We are looking forward to a constructive engagement from all Syrian sides whether from the government delegation or the opposition because without a doubt, the success of the Vienna talks is the success of the Sochi talks,” he said.

A day earlier, the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said he had invited the Syrian government and opposition to a special meeting that would focus on constitutional issues in Syria, which is to be held on January 25-26 in Vienna.

According to a statement issued by De Mistura’s office, the UN envoy said the specific focus of the Vienna talks will be on the constitutional basket of the agenda towards the full implementation of the Security Council resolution 2254, an internationally-backed text that basically seeks a new constitution, UN-supervised elections in Syria.

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The Vienna talks will precede a Russian-backed talks in Sochi on January 29-30.

The Sochi talks will also tackle the constitution topic, a coincidence that pushed observers to believe that the Vienna talks were designed to affect the Sochi talks.

–IANS

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