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West considers Syria governmemnt as main negotiator: Pundit

Syrian ambassador to UN and head of the government delegation Bashar al-Ja’afari (R) faces Syria UN envoy Staffan de Mistura (Back L) at the opening of Syrian peace talks in Geneva on January 29, 2016. ©AFP)

Press TV has interviewed Sukant Chandan, a filmmaker and political commentator from London, and Matar Matar, a political commentator from New York, to discuss the peace talks underway in Geneva on the crisis in Syria.

Chandan says the most important difference between the 2014 Syria peace talks and the ongoing negotiations in Geneva is the serious engagement of the Syrian government as an “absolute fundamental negotiator” in the political process.

He argues the support of Iran, Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah and Russia for Syria in its anti-terror battle has changed the facts on the battlefield in favor of government troops in recent months, forcing the West and its regional allies to accept Damascus as a main player in the Geneva peace talks.

The analyst rules out the presence of the Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam terror groups in the peace talks as part of a so-called opposition delegation from the Saudi-backed High Negotiations Council, stressing that the death squads cannot be called “moderate opposition,” and thus should not be allowed to attend the negotiations.

He refers to the role of the West and its allies in nurturing Takfiri terror groups in the Middle East, saying the conflict in Syria has been “manufactured, developed, financed, supported and propped up by the regimes in London, Paris and Washington alongside their junior allies in the region, particularly Ankara and Riyadh.”

Matar, for his part, believes the talks are the “last chance for the Syrian people to end” the violence, which has claimed over 260,000 lives since its outbreak in 2011.

He says he is optimistic about the prospects of the peace talks because the main sponsors of so-called opposition have reached consensus to continue the diplomatic process.

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