US, Russia set to clash over Syria sanctions

Syrian Opposition to meet Russian envoys in Geneva

As talks on a political resolution of the conflict in Syria continue in Geneva, the Syrian opposition seeks to meet with Russian officials in an attempt to affect Moscow's pro-Damascus stance.

After the attack, the United Nations special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said in a statement that "spoilers were always expected, and should continue to be expected, to try to influence the proceedings of the talks".

In the last days of 2016, Syrian government and the opposition, mediated by Russian Federation and other sides, reached a ceasefire agreement. "It is a result of the fact that you decided on provocation while you knew well ahead of time our position", said Safronkov.

The opposition's High Negotiations Committee (HNC) has repeatedly said its central goal in Geneva is to discuss "political transition" in Syria.

"Novelty of the current situation in Geneva is that the sides have agreed to de Mistura's proposal to consider the issues concurrently, that is all the issues", he added.

He seeks to get the two sides to accept an agenda based on Security Council Resolution 2254, focusing initially on a new constitution as well as UN-supervised elections.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government has denied its forces have used chemical weapons.

Six days of United Nations -led talks, the first for nearly 10 months, have focussed nearly entirely on how to arrange more substantive talks in later rounds. "The world is definitely a more risky place", she said. While new U.S. President Donald Trump has called for an alliance with Russian Federation to fight the jihadists, he's also branded Iran as the "number one terrorist" threat even as the Kremlin insists on including Iranian-backed and Assad forces in the anti-terrorist campaign in Syria.

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"The fight against terrorism is a priority and should be on the agenda (in Geneva) along with other issues", said Gatilov.

De Mistura managed to persuade regime and opposition negotiators to sit in the same room for a symbolic opening ceremony last week, but since then he has held separate talks with the different delegations, as during previous rounds.

"Today, we will have a meeting with Russia's deputy foreign minister".

"This meeting was more positive than the one before", he told reporters.

He said that Russian Federation, which along with Turkey helped broker a ceasefire in December, appears to be softening its stance toward the armed opposition.

Earlier, HNC representatives told Gatilov they have differences with other opposition platforms and cannot allow a fusion between the delegations that could impede the peace process.

Gatilov also said Moscow is open to discussions with the USA over Syria.

"Our hopes are not high given the incidents on the ground and the continuous violations by the regime forces and its backers of the ceasefire", Mutasem Alysoufi of "The Day after Syria" campaign that supports democratic transition, told Reuters in Geneva.

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