Remarks to the press by Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, before the Security Council consultations on Syria
Q: Ambassador Churkin, good morning. What we are expecting at this meeting today?
V.Churkin: As you know the very important documents were issued in Astana yesterday after a long effort by Russia and Turkey, the documents establishing cessation of hostilities in Syria and also committing the government of the opposition to enter into direct talks in Astana late January. So, together with the delegation of Turkey here yesterday night we circulated those documents, as official documents of the Security Council, and we prepared a brief resolution, draft of the Security Council to endorse those documents. We circulated the draft last night. Today at the consultations I’m going to present it to Counsel members more formally. And we hope that tomorrow morning we can go for a vote to adopt it unanimously, for the Security Council also to join in this important process.
Q: Who will join the talks in Astana? The HNC (High Negotiations Committee)? The leaders from the Syrian Republic?
V.Churkin: The talks have been conducted with several major groups which have a large military presence on the ground inSyria, to the tune of. 60 000 people, very well armed. So I don’t have the names of the groups in my mind but they are well known groups. Our line all long has been that all those who really want to enter into serious negotiations with the government, are prepared to enter into the serious negotiations with the government, they are welcome to show up in Astana . So we’ll see.