March 30, 2016 / 11:01 AM / 4 years ago

Assad says Damascus to base Geneva talks on U.N. document: RIA

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad stands next to his wife Asma, as he addresses injured soldiers and their mothers during a celebration marking Syrian Mother's Day in Damascus, in this handout picture provided by SANA on March 21, 2016. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Damascus will base its dialogue on solving the Syrian conflict at the next round of talks in Geneva on the United Nations basic principles document, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with Russia’s RIA news agency published on Wednesday.

Last week, Syrian and opposition parties considered a document drawn up by a U.N. special envoy outlining basic principles in what one diplomat described as a “baby step” forward.

“For now, we cannot say that something was achieved at the Geneva talks but we have started from the basics, namely formulating the basic principles on which negotiations will be based,” Assad said.

Reporting by Lidia Kelly and Denis Pinchuk; Editing by Christian Lowe

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