How will Russia's troop withdrawal affect Syria talks?

How will Russia's troop withdrawal affect Syria talks?
By Catherine Hardy with REUTERS
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Syrian opposition delegation reveal how they think discussions in Geneva will be impacted by Moscow's decision.


Representatives of the Syrian opposition gather to pay their respects to those who have lost their lives in the 5-year conflict.

They have also given their reaction to Russia’s announcement that it is to begin the partial withdrawal of its troops from Syria.

Salim el Mouslat is spokesperson for the Syrian opposition coalition:

“I think it is a positive decision and I think it will be backed up by those on the ground. A total retreat of Russian forces will certainly impact the talks in Geneva.”

“However a partial retreat of these forces would leave us in Syria asking the question; what are they staying for?”

Abdul Hakim Bashar who represents the Kurdish delegation with the opposition coalition says the international community is more behind these talks than ever before.

“Russia’s decision to withdraw its troops is a positive move which could nudge the government towards accepting a political settlement. We are with the Syrians when they say they want a political transition for the country. We have our own claims and we think the best way to build a new Syria would be to create a federal state.”

Euronews correspondent Faiza Garah says; “The decision by the Russian president to begin the partial withdrawal of troops from Syria has dominated the discussions here in the corridors of the UN.”

“The question is, how will this question affect the decisions taken by all those involved in the talks here in Geneva in Switzerland.”

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