The liberation of Palmyra has built up Russia’s reputation in the global arena and America’s unwillingness to " make greater efforts " to negotiate have made Russian leader Vladimir Putin the key player in the Geneva talks, a Syrian opposition member said. The next round of the intra-Syrian peace talks in Geneva will start on April 13. UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura has urged all parties involved to touch upon the crux of the matter, including the issue of political transition. The previous round finished on March 24. The round saw all delegations submit their settlement proposals to de Mistura, who then produced a final paper with points of convergence between the parties. The peace talks followed a Russian-US-brokered ceasefire deal reached on February 27. However, Bassma Kodmani, a Syrian opposition figure and member of the High Negotiations Committee, expressed skepticism over the upcoming talks. The Syrian opposition has insisted on a transition period in Syria, including the Bashar Assad’s reign. In turn, Damascus is only ready to discuss a national unity government which may include several opposition members and independent politicians, Kodmani told Le Journal du Dimanche. But no one has the idea how to sort out the contradictions, she noted. Discussions of Assad’s fate have focused on a new constitution to specify the powers of the Syrian president. "But the US refuses to intense pressure to change the situation. [US President] Barack Obama decided not to take decisive actions and now – amid the ongoing presidential campaign – he would do even less. This means he gave all the cards to Russia. He lacks political will while the US could participate in the settlement in Syria," Kodmani pointed out. Furthermore, the Russian pullout from Syria is a signal that Moscow is limiting its support for Assad and wants a greater role in the Geneva talks. Finally, after Moscow helped the Syrian Army liberate Palmyra Russia has strengthened its positions at the negotiating table. "The liberation of Palmyra was not a major strategic victory. But for Damascus and Moscow, it had significant psychological importance," she concluded. On March 27, the Syrian Army, supported by pro-government militia and the Russian Aerospace Forces, recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra, which had been under ISIS control for about a year. The city and its historic ruins had been controlled by Daesh since May 2015, Sputnik reported.