Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
 | 
Last updated 15 minutes ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
HOME LOCAL MIDEAST ASIA WORLD BUSINESS SPORT OPINION WRITERS
Assad negotiators arrive at Syria peace talks
November 30, 2017
 Print    Send to Friend

GENEVA: Syrian government negotiators arrived in Geneva on Wednesday to join United Nations-backed peace talks to end the civil war, adamant that they will not tolerate any discussion of President Bashar Al-Assad’s ouster.

Damascus had initially refused to confirm it would attend the talks, which began on Tuesday, given the rebels were maintaining their hardline stance on the president’s removal.

With the help of Russian military support, the Syrian regime has made major advances against its opponents in the past two years, seizing back large chunks of the country.

But a government delegation landed in the Swiss city on Wednesday, reportedly after securing key concessions from UN mediator Staffan de Mistura, including keeping the Assad issue off the table.

The talks have achieved little through seven previous rounds but there are hopes the latest may make some progress in ending what has been a devastating conflict.

Opposition representatives, united in one delegation for the first time, met de Mistura behind closed doors on Tuesday. They told the envoy they remained ready for face-to-face talks with the government.

“We are one. We are ready to negotiate directly with the other side”, opposition spokesman Yahya Aridi said in a statement.

De Mistura has said that he would push for direct talks once the opposition unified, but a source close to the government has told AFP that Damascus would not agree to sit around a table with rebel negotiators this round.

Rebel delegation chief Nasr al-Hariri had said that his camp was still insisting on Assad’s removal as part of any peace deal, defying calls for moderation.

But sidelining the Assad issue may also suit de Mistura, who has said he wants this round to focus on a new constitution for Syria and UN-supervised elections.

De Mistura had voiced hope the coming round would mark the first “real negotiation” on a possible deal to end the six-year war which has claimed more than 340,000 lives, forced millions to flee their homes and left Syria in ruin.

He has also warned the opposition that intransigence on the Assad issue might no longer be tenable.

In September, he said the opposition needed to be “realistic” and accept that “they didn’t win the war”, a statement supported by facts on the ground.

Agence France-Presse
 

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments
 
Post a comment
 
Name:
Country:
City:
Email:
Comment:
 
    
    
Related Stories
‘Severe damage’ in Yarmuk makes returns unlikely: UN
BEIRUT: The UN on Tuesday said it was almost impossible to imagine people returning to Syria’s ruined Yarmuk Palestinian camp, a day after the government recaptured it fr..
Global donors vow $4.4m in Syria aid
BRUSSELS: International donors on Wednesday pledged an estimated $4.4 billion in humanitarian aid for Syria and neighbours sheltering its refugees in 2018, falling signif..
Raqa still ‘too dangerous’ for returnees: UN
GENEVA: The UN is intentionally providing only barebones aid in the former Daesh stronghold of Raqa in Syria to avoid attracting more civilians to the still highly danger..
UN Security Council meets over Syria
BACKAKRA: The UN Security Council met in a secluded farmhouse on the southern tip of Sweden on Saturday in a bid to overcome deep divisions over how to end the war in Syr..
OPCW team comes under fire in Syria
THE HAGUE: A UN security team came under fire in Syria while doing reconnaissance for inspectors to visit sites of a suspected chemical weapons attack, and officials said..
FRONTPAGE
 
GALLERY
 
PANORAMA
 
TIME OUT
 
SPORT
 
 
Advertise | Copyright