March 29, 2016 / 2:53 PM / in a year

Moscow's call not to discuss Assad's fate may halt Syria peace talks: agency

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad stands next to his wife Asma, as he addresses injured soldiers and their mothers during a celebration marking Syrian Mother's Day in Damascus, in this handout picture provided by SANA on March 21, 2016. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s future should be the main topic of Syrian peace talks in Geneva, and Moscow’s call not to discuss this aims at undermining the negotiations, Interfax news agency quoted a Syrian opposition figure as saying on Tuesday.

Moscow’s position that Assad’s future should not be discussed at the moment has found understanding in Washington, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has said.

“It is obvious that this statement aims to stop the process of negotiations and to deprive the High Negotiating Council of any hope to continue the talks,” Riad Nassan Agha, a member of the opposition High Negotiations Committee, told Interfax, commenting on Ryabkov’s words.

“What else are we going to discuss if we are not going to discuss Assad’s fate?” he said.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov

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