No single faction can represent all opposition groups: Syria
Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations says no opposition faction can monopolize representation of the entire opposition in the ongoing indirect peace talks with the Damascus government.
Bashar Ja’afari, who also heads the Syrian government delegation at the negotiations, made the remarks during a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
Ja’afari rejected the possibility of getting involved in direct dialog with the foreign-backed opposition, adding that no party can claim to be the only representative of the opposition groups as some of the opposition delegations have not yet arrived in the Swiss city.
The chief negotiator of the “Riyadh opposition” delegation is a member of a terrorist group, he said in reference to Salim al-Muslat, the head of the Saudi-backed opposition coalition, called the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), which claims to be representing the entire Syrian opposition.
Muslat had earlier said the HNC supports direct negotiations with Damascus, but it is up to UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura to decide on the issue.
The UN-brokered peace talks, aimed at resolving the five-year crisis in Syria, resumed in Geneva on March 14.
The first round of the discussions was halted on February 3 after the opposition refused to continue the talks.
‘No federal model for Syria’
The Syrian diplomat dismissed plans by Syria’s Kurds to declare a federal region in the country’s north, saying “betting on creating any kind of divisions among the Syrians will be a total failure.”
He also emphasized that the Geneva talks are meant to discuss the unity of Syria and how to preserve its territorial integrity.
The remarks came after Nawaf Khalil, a spokesman for Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party, also known as the PYD, said his party is planning to declare a federal region in northern Syria.