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Friday, March 23, 2018

“The delegate from the Syrian opposition upbeat on prospects for negotiations in Geneva”

Monday, 14 March, will host the next inter- meeting. The resumption of talks between the regime and the opposition became possible due to successful implementation of the agreement on cessation of hostilities in Syria – it has been more than two weeks, despite some reported violations. The truce in Syria has become perhaps the biggest breakout during the five years that the country’s ongoing civil war. In this regard, and the expectations for the Geneva meeting, great. “MK” talked with Secretary of the party “Narodnaya Volya”, the leaders of the popular Front for change and liberation Qadri JAMIL, who arrived in Geneva as part of one of the opposition delegations, and learned his opinion about the upcoming negotiations and related issues.

photo: AP

– Our delegation from the secular and democratic opposition – optimistic, – told “MK” Qadri JAMIL. – The meeting will be held in a fundamentally new conditions: the ceasefire regime in Syria has stood the test of time, humanitarian assistance for the first time in five years supplied to all regions of the country. This, of course, creates fertile ground for negotiation, which, in turn, must pave the way for deep political changes – in accordance with resolution 2254 of the UN security Council. This document, of course, only outlined the General direction of a peaceful settlement, the details need to sort themselves Syrians.

– With regard to problematic issues, such as the refusal by some opposition members to talk about the settlement until Assad is gone, – how they can affect the negotiations?

– All parties in advance of the meeting designate their own objectives. But we must understand that such categorical statements are sounding, I note, on both sides, to no good cause can not. If the opposition demands for Assad to step down, regime officials completely deny such a possibility, are two extreme points of view. And the truth, as happens often, somewhere in between, and we’ll look for her. In the end, Syrians have to learn to compromise. In Syria, the big problem is that almost 50 years people lived with very low levels of political freedom. And now we have to go through a certain path, to gain experience and learn to engage in dialogue. And while the representatives of the regime, many members of the opposition mentality of the ruling party, not taking into account the views of opponents. But this approach is unproductive. And, of course, its preservation is one of the main obstacles to the success of the negotiations.

– Your delegation faced any problems before the meeting?

In our delegation of 15 people, five of whom are Kurds, are still not invited to the meeting. We hope that this issue will be resolved. For this the United States, and Staffan de Mistura, and our Russian friends.

– The current negotiations are before them, will be indirect?

Yes, as far as I understood from the statement of de Mistura.

– How do you evaluate information on the proposed discussion on the possible federalization of Syria ?

– Issues that should be discussed, it is not federalization, and the Constitution, we must agree on model of relations between the centre and the regions. Still, this model was deformed, all the power was at the center that, among other things, led to disaster. And the question is what powers can be transferred to the individual provinces. You must not discuss slogans — decentralization, federalization, and technical issues. I for decentralization, but at what degree of autonomy should have a separate area? If this value is too high, we will face the collapse of the country. If you leave everything as it was before, then the prospect of the disintegration of the country also continue. Need to find a middle ground.

– From Damascus, allegations about the refusal to discuss in Geneva the future presidential elections in Syria – what can you say about this?

Is a propaganda statement. Presidential elections, parliamentary as referred to in resolution 2254, and should be conducted at the end of the 18-month transition period. And the range of issues that will be discussed at the talks, has long been marked by Staffan de Mistura: the formation of a government (including representatives of both the regime and the opposition), update the Constitution and future elections.

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