SHAFAQNA – Syria has called on all participants of the Geneva and Astana peace talks to distance themselves from terrorist organisations.
Syria’s Foreign Ministry made the call on Saturday in a letter sent to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council, in which it demanded the condemnation of two deadly bombings that hit the capital earlier in the day.
At least 46 people, most of them Iraqis, were killed in two bomb attacks near the Bab al-Saghir cemetery in the Bab Masala area of Damascus.
The letter went on to condemn the “cowardly” attack which coincided with a series of mortar and rocket attacks on the city that resulted in a large number of casualties.
It added that such actions are carried out in retaliation for gains made by the army against the Daesh and Jabhat Fateh sl-Sham terrorist groups across the country.
It also called for countries which back these terrorist organizations, especially Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, and some Western states to halt all manners of support.
The first round of the Astana talks, organized by guarantor states Iran, Russia, and Turkey, took place on January 23-24 and brought together representatives from the Damascus government and opposition groups. The second round of the negotiations, similarly brokered by the trio, was held on February 15-16.
The fourth round of the UN-mediated discussions was held between February 23 and March 3 in Geneva, and a fifth one has been scheduled for March 23.
Syria has been fighting different foreign-sponsored militant and terrorist groups since March 2011. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimated last August that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the crisis until then.