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Syrian opposition group formed at Hmeimim base to come to Geneva in coming days — diplomat

The delegation of Syria's patriotic opposition that has been formed at the Khemimim base is expected to come to Geneva "any day," Russian Permanent Representative to the Office of the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva Alexey Borodavkin told reporters on Tuesday.

"The delegation of the [Syrian] internal patriotic opposition that has been formed at a conference held at Khmeimin is expected to arrive in Geneva any day," he said.

Borodavkin told TASS previously that the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, and his office have welcomed the formation of a new moderate opposition group. "Staffan de Mistura has promised to negotiate the issue of inviting representatives of this group to the Geneva negotiations."

According to Borodavkin, this group comprises oppositionists who live and work in Syria but who have not been included in the political structure that is currently in power. "They have taken advantage of the cessation of hostilities regime and said that they support this regime, support the Russian-American statement on how this regime should be implemented, consolidated their political will, adopted a relevant statement and created a so-called secular opposition group in Khmeimim. It happened at the base of our Center for reconciliation," the ambassador said.

Russian diplomats to meet with Damascus delegation in Geneva

The diplomat also noted that Russian diplomats in Geneva will hold a meeting with the Syrian government delegation at the intra-Syrian talks on Tuesday.

"Yesterday, here in Geneva, we already held a meeting with representatives of the Syrian opposition Qadri Jamil and Randa Kassis," he said. "A meeting with the Syrian government delegation led by (Syria's Ambassador to the UN) Bashar Jaafari is to be held today."

On March 14, Jaafari met with UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura , the next contacts between them are scheduled for March 16. A meeting of the secular democratic Syrian opposition, which includes Qadri Jami and Randa Kassis, with the UN envoy is to take place on the same day.

Russia satisfied by work of Syria task forces

According to Borodavkin, Moscow is satisfied by the work of Syria humanitarian and ceasefire task forces.

"We are satisfied by how these mechanisms work," Borodavkin said.

Russian diplomats and military are praised for their effort to investigate and prevent cases of ceasefire violations and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian citizens, he added.

Another meeting of Syria ceasefire task force was held behind closed doors in Geneva on Monday. The humanitarian task force is expected to meet on Wednesday. The task forces were created after a meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in Munich on February 12.

[Source: Itar Tass, Geneva, 15Mar16]

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