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I don't think Geneva talks will be productive

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Speaking about the latest round of Geneva peace talks, Bashar Assad said that the Syrian government did not expect the negotiations to produce any results but considers the meeting to be a first step in the right direction.

"We didn't expect Geneva to produce anything, but it’s a step, and it’s going to be a long way, and you may have other rounds, whether in Geneva or in Astana," Assad said in an interview with Chinese Phoenix Television, published by the SANA news agency.

He stressed that the Syrian government went to the talks despite reserves over what it considers terrorist groups being represented in the opposition delegation as it hopes that terrorists could give up their ideology and return to normal life.

"We went to that meeting because we think any kind of dialogue could be a good step toward the solution, because even those people who are terrorists or belonging to the terrorists or to other countries, they may change their mind and go back to their normality by going back to being real Syrians," the president said.

UN-backed Syrian peace talks in Geneva were meant to be used by various states as a tool to apply pressure on the Syrian government rather than strive for settling the country's six-year conflict, Syrian President Bashar Assad said Saturday.

"We didn't forge this mechanism; it was forged by de Mistura and the UN with the influence of the countries that wanted to use those negotiations in order to make pressure on Syria, not to reach any resolution," Assad said in an interview with Chinese Phoenix Television, published by the SANA news agency.

The latest round of Geneva talks did not involve actual settlement negotiations but merely outlined the shape of future discussions, he added.

2017.03.11 / 16:59
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