De Mistura: Thursday will be an important day for Geneva talks

There was no surprise that Russian Federation and China both stepped forward on vetoing the resolution, and in a lot of cases, they wouldn't bother to bring up a resolution to a vote in the first place knowing the veto is coming.

"Things aren't going as smoothly as we would want" in the Geneva talks, President Vladimir Putin told reporters Tuesday during a visit to Kyrgyzstan.

Russian Federation has vetoed six Security Council resolutions on Syria since the conflict started in 2011.

We hope that Russian Federation "will not bet on one person", he said, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and that it "will provide real and positive support to the political process so that we could reach an appropriate solution".

Hariri accused the government of using increased violence on the ground to foil talks in Geneva.

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Ongoing Syria talks in Geneva appeared to show some signs of movement on Wednesday, as opposition negotiators said the government had been pressured by Russian Federation to address their demands for a political transition.

A ceasefire backed by Russia, Iran and Turkey has not stopped the fighting.

The source said the government delegation had "in-depth and fruitful talks" with de Mistura over the past two days, and was satisfied with the progress of the talks.

Meanwhile, the delegation of HNC believes that the fight against terrorism is not a priority at intra-Syrian talks in Geneva as this topic can be discussed in Astana, the official spokesman of the delegation Salem al-Muslim stated.

The HNC was set to formally meet with Gatilov on Wednesday evening, and hoped to have "constructive discussions" the failing ceasefire and the deteriorating humanitarian situation across many areas of the country. But a flurry of secretive diplomatic meetings over the past two days could have forced a change, according to the opposition.

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The Damascus delegation later insisted on including counter-terrorism in the agenda, as a priority.

United Nations envoy Staffan De Mistura unexpectedly came to the opposition's hotel late in the evening after their meeting with Gatilov, but declined to comment on the process.

He wants the focus in Geneva to be a new constitution, United Nations -supervised elections and accountable governance, based on Security Council resolution 2254.

Iran and Assad are openly opposed to Russia's more flexible stance, which it sees as necessary to involve the USA and its allies in a post-war reconstruction and secure an exit strategy for its military campaign in Syria, said Shumilin of the Institute for US and Canada Studies. "There is common understanding that we need to move ahead in resolving the Syria crisis", Gatilov said, adding the sides outlined their approaches to finding solutions to the Syria crisis.

"We met with (Syrian government negotiator Bashar) Ja'afari and he reconfirmed that he is not against the agenda proposal, but he said that terrorism should not be ignored and should also be on the agenda", Gatilov said.

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The opposition wants to discuss "political transition" because they see it as an end to Assad's autocratic rule.


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