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Syrian opposition coalition ready for political solution

Posted on Feb 02 2014 | IANS

Munich, Feb 1 : The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NCSROF) is ready to look for a political solution to the Syrian crisis and will take part in the second round of intra-Syrian talks, NCSROF leader Ahmad Jarba said.

"After the completion of the first round of talks, I said on behalf of the NCSROF that we will take part in the second round to be held Feb 10 in any case," Jarba said Friday at the 50th Munich Security Conference currently underway in the Bavarian capital.

"We have made a decision and will push the matter through. We state that we are ready to seek a political solution to the crisis," he said.

Jarba stressed that the Syrian opposition coalition keeps insisting on the necessity to establish a transitional government, which was mentioned in the final communique of the Geneva-I conference in 2012.

"This is the way we understand the results (of the conference)," he said.

The Geneva Communique was adopted on June 30, 2012, at a conference of an "action group" on Syria in Geneva. That conference is now commonly referred to as Geneva-I.

A logical continuation of Geneva I, the Geneva II international peace conference on Syria opened Jan 22, 2014 in Montreux, Switzerland. The first round of Geneva II ended Friday in Geneva with no particular progress.

The parties to the Syrian conflict have taken a pause for consultations and are expected to resume the talks Feb 10.

The Syrian opposition leader criticized the UN Security Council for its "failure to adopt any resolutions since the start of the Syrian revolution," which, he said, "led to the regime's policy becoming tougher".

"We are approaching the second round of consultations but believe that the position demonstrated by the government of the Syrian Arab Republic is unacceptable for talks with the (opposition) coalition," Jarba said.

Jarba will arrive in the Russian capital Moscow Feb 3, and is expected to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Feb 4.

Meanwhile, Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told a news conference Friday that the lack of progress at Geneva II was due to a difficult atmosphere created by the US and the opposition's unserious attitude.

Geneva II, organized by Russia and the US, seeks to negotiate a solution to the Syrian crisis, which has claimed over 100,000 lives and displaced millions since its start in 2011, according to UN statistics.

An international deal was mediated in September 2013 to destroy Syria's chemical weapons. The agreement prevented a likely US-led military intervention.

The process of disarmament in Syria was launched after hundreds of civilians died in a chemical attack made on a Damascus suburb in August 2013. The most dangerous of Syria's chemical weapons are to be destroyed at sea by the end of March, and the rest by June 30, 2014.

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