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SYRIA: TALKS IN GENEVA, POSTPONED UNTIL THE END OF FEBRUARY

The new round of talks between the Government and the opposition to try to put an end in the Syrian conflict, convened for February 8, has been postponed until the end of that month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said today.

 


The negotiations sponsored by the ONU “have been postponed again at the end of next month,” Lavrov regretted when a meeting with several Syrian opposition groups began in Moscow.

“The passivity of our UN colleagues, who since last year have not held any round of negotiations, is unacceptable,” said the head of Russian diplomacy, in a criticism that seems to point to the special envoy of the international body for the Conflict in Syria, Staffan de Mistura.

Lavrov’s meeting with the political groups of the Syrian opposition, which was broadcast live on Russian television, takes place three days after the meeting in Astana – with little result -, a meeting between representatives of the Government of Damascus and the armed opposition groups.

The Russian minister, however, stressed that the meeting in the Kazakh capital should be seen as “an important step towards the solution (of the conflict), because armed groups are now participating in the process that until now were not part of the contacts with the Government or in the negotiations on the future of Syria.”

The Syrian National Coalition (CNFROS), the main opposition political alliance, declined to go to Moscow to meet with Lavrov, as did other opposition political groups that do are part of the Supreme Commission for Negotiations (CSN), that represents the opposition in the Geneva process.

“We had invited representatives of the ‘Riyadh group’, who at first seemed to accept, but then argued that they wanted to contact us on their own, not in the framework of all patriotic opponents,” Lavrov added in reference to the CSN , formed in its time in a meeting in the Saudi capital.

“They said that you can not sit down and negotiate while the fighting continues. Now the fighting has stopped, there is a truce, and therefore there can be no more excuses,” he warned.


January 27, 2017, EFE/Practica Español


Grammar notes: ‘tratar de’ + infinitive, past tenses


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Question 1
El vídeo habla de...
A
Los grupos opositores sirios alcanzan un acuerdo con el Gobierno.
B
La ronda de negociaciones para acabar con la guerra en Siria.
C
El fin de la guerra en Siria.
Question 2
En el texto se dice que...
A
Se ha pospuesto una ronda de negociaciones.
B
Está a punto de iniciarse una ronda de negociaciones.
C
Hay una inminente reunión en Ginebra para acabar con la guerra en Siria.
Question 3
Según el vídeo...
A
El actual presidente de Rusia comunicó el aplazamiento de esas negociaciones.
B
Un grupo opositor sirio ha comunicado a la prensa que no están dispuestos a dialogar.
C
Un ministro ruso anunció el aplazamiento de esa reunión de negociaciones.
Question 4
Lavrov...
A
Solo se va a reunir con el mayor grupo opositor del régimen sirio.
B
Se va a entrevistar con el presidente de Siria.
C
Se está reuniendo con varios grupos de la oposición siria.
Question 5
En el vídeo se dice que...
A
Rusia está mediando para resolver el conflicto.
B
Rusia ha conseguido que no se aplace una importante reunión.
C
Rusia no tiene interés en que se alcance la paz en Siria.
Question 6
Lavrov...
A
Se mostró crítico con la ONU.
B
Admite que la ONU está haciendo un buen trabajo.
C
Está apoyando la forma de actuar de la ONU.
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