Consultative meetings in Moscow conclude, Syrian government delegation agrees to “Moscow Principles”

Moscow, SANA – Rounds of discussions between the delegation of the Syrian government and that of the opposition figures within Moscow consultative meeting concluded Thursday.

The government delegation, along with five opposition parties and other figures agreed to a set of principles presented by Russia, which were called “Moscow Principles”.

The principles mainly focused on preserving Syria’s sovereignty and unity, fighting all forms of terrorism, settling the crisis peacefully and politically and rejecting any foreign interference.

The text of the “Moscow Principles” is as follows:

Over the past four years, there has been an unprecedented spread of terrorism in the Syrian territory that has left tens of thousands of victims among citizens and caused millions of others to suffer.

Furthermore, terrorists and extremists have been brought into the Syrian territories from all corners of the world, with our country being faced with grave dangers, most serious among them probably is the extremists attempting to impose a barbaric rule, which has nothing to do with the noble values of the Syrian people and has torpedoed the deep-rooted tradition of peaceful coexistence among their various components.

In addition to that, its economic and social structures, which were built by the efforts of generations of Syrians, are being destroyed, and its invaluable cultural, historical and civilization heritage is being pillaged, stolen and vandalized.

Based on what was mentioned above, all the peaceful national forces in the Syrian society and those who love their homeland are required to take decisive measures to have the situation changed as soon as possible.

In this regard, it is necessary that political foundations for a national Syrian-Syrian dialogue be laid that would enable all of the Syrians to settle the urgent issues on the national agenda through a comprehensive national dialogue without preconditions.

Among those there are the following principles:

1 – Maintaining the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.

2 – Combating terrorism with all its forms and manifestations, and seeking to have concerted efforts to fight the terrorists and extremists operating in the Syrian land. 3 – Settling the crisis in Syria through peaceful political means on a consensual ground based on the principles of Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012.

4 – Determining Syria’s future on the basis of a democratic and free expression of the Syrian people’s will.

5 – Rejecting any foreign interference in the Syrian affairs.

6 – Maintaining the army and the armed forces as an embodiment of national unity, and preserving and developing the state institutions.

7 – The rule of law and respecting the principle of citizenship and equality among citizens before the law.

8 – Rejecting any foreign armed presence on the territories of the Syrian Arab Republic without its government’s consent.

The participants in Moscow consultative meeting expressed their thanks to the friendly government of Russia and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences for hosting this meeting and are looking forward to continuing the Syrian-Syrian consultative meetings in this regard.

Earlier, sources from Moscow reported that every small group of opposition figures presented its own paper and there was no agreement on any joint paper, with the opposition Coalition-backed Coordination Committee rejecting the “Moscow Principles”.

Information from Moscow also indicated that there seemed to be a semi-agreement to continue meetings in Moscow, a date for which is to be determined later.

Three rounds of discussions were held on Wednesday between the delegation of the Syrian government and that of the opposition figures in the framework of the Russian-hosted consultative meeting.

Closed-door meetings that brought together representatives of various opposition factions were held last Monday and Tuesday as part of the meeting which, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, seeks to provide an avenue and a forum for discourse and discussions with representatives of the Syrian government.

Haifa Said

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