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Syrian opposition seek a political solution in six months

Syrian opposition seek a political solution in six months

The chief of the opposition's delegation, Nasr Hariri, told reporters Monday that the opposition was "ready to negotiate", and accused the government of stalling.

The delegation of the Syrian opposition, led by the team of the United Nations envoy to Syria Stephan de Mistura, gathered at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva.

However, opposition delegates meeting last week issued a statement repeating their demand that Assad be excluded from any transitional government, a position which Damascus and its allies say is divorced from reality on the ground.

De Mistura said that today will be the first official meeting of the Syrian delegation at the talks.

The Syrian civil war, now in its seventh year, has left over 400,000 dead, driven at least 11 million people from their homes and dragged in regional and world powers.

Syrian opposition had called for direct negotiations in Geneva with representatives of the Bashar al-Assad government. De Mistura said that he and his team will not accept any preconditions from either party. "So setting such a precondition at the beginning of the eighth round of Geneva negotiations will only derail the talks and lead to their failure", Jalil Rahimi also told ICANA in a Wednesday interview.

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He said Russian Federation appreciated the "opportunity", but "at the same time, we have some doubts about this kind of format, and do not consider it an established one".

He added that the eighth round of Geneva talks hasn't changed much in comparison with previous rounds of talks, noting that the opposition delegation is not independent in terms of their ideas.

This progress against the terror-designated groups across the country is so important for the Syrian government, whose forces are now on the offense instead of being on the defense in the early years of the almost seven-year war.

De Mistura has asked both sides to come without preconditions. He wants an "inclusive process" that can ultimately draft and ratify a new constitution. Hariri also met with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield, who offered similar support.

The delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic will arrive in Geneva on Wednesday to participate in the 8th round of the intra-Syrian dialogue, a source at Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said. The Damascus team will again be headed by Bashar Ja'afari, Syria's representative at the United Nations in NY, the official said.

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