Thu Mar 2, 2017 5:26PM
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura (2nd R) and head of the Syrian government delegationو Bashar al-Ja'afari (3rd L), attend a meeting of intra-Syria peace talks at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura (2nd R) and head of the Syrian government delegationو Bashar al-Ja'afari (3rd L), attend a meeting of intra-Syria peace talks at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
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While the so-called Syrian opposition, dubbed the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), has sought to meet with Russian officials in a bid to affect Moscow’s stance on Damascus, the Syrian government has underlined the need for the issue of terrorism to be put on the agenda of the Geneva peace talks.

Since “terrorists are common among the [Syrian] opposition,” the so-called HNC has no say when it comes to fighting terrorism, Paul Larudee, a former US government adviser from Berkeley, told Press TV on Thursday.

The commentator added, “It would be embarrassing for [the Syrian opposition] to discuss the issue of terrorism, because almost everyone, if they’re honest about it, will recognize that their ranks are full of terrorists.”

The analyst then singled out the issue of fighting against terrorism as a thorny topic for the Syrian opposition to discuss.

The Syria peace talks are underway in the Swiss city of Geneva to help warring sides, including the Syrian government and foreign-backed militants, stop fighting and come up with a peace plan.

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Several rounds of talks mediated by the United Nations to bring the Syrian government and the opposition together have borne no fruit, because it has been hard to differentiate between armed opposition groups and terrorists.

Larudee noted, “The ISIS (Daesh) is not included in these discussions and neither is al-Nusra, because they are the two main terrorist groups.”

“In the view of many others, there is not much difference between, for example, al-Nusra and Ahrar ul-Sham and other groups that are included among the so-called opposition,” he argued.