Top Syrian negotiator rejects Riyadh-2 communiqué
Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations and head of the Syrian delegation to the intra-Syrian peace talks in Geneva has strongly condemned the foreign-sponsored armed opposition over a communiqué, which demands the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad and his exclusion from governing Syria during a transitional period.
“As long as the other side sticks to the language of Riyadh-2, there will be no progress. The language used in the statement contravenes the UN Security Council resolution 2254,” Bashar al-Ja’afari told reporters on Friday following talks with United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura in the Swiss city of Geneva.
He stated that the Damascus government’s delegates have already submitted a list of basic principles for the sake of a political solution to the lingering Syrian conflict, which primarily focuses on the formation of a common ground and national trust.
Ja’afari added that those who drafted the “provocative and irresponsible” Riyadh-2 communiqué were simply seeking to undermine De Mistura’s mission, stressing that the peace talks in Geneva are “not a vicious circle.”
The Syrian negotiator underlined that government troops are making territorial gains on a daily basis, and Damascus is close to win the decisive victory over Daesh terrorist group.
The veteran diplomat stressed that any unilateral action taken without the coordination with the incumbent Syrian government is totally rejected.
Ja’afari concluded that his team would leave the UN-backed talks in Geneva on Saturday, and that “Damascus will decide” if they will return and continue the talks next Tuesday.
The eight rounds of Syrian peace negotiations in Geneva have failed to achieve a tangible result over the past five years, mainly due to the opposition’s insistence that Assad must cede power.
Nasr al-Hariri, the head of the so-called High Negotiations Committee (HNC), said in Geneva on Monday evening that Assad’s departure should be set before the start of any transition process.
That condition seems no longer tenable due to Syria’s continued victories against the militants in the recent past.
On Tuesday, the US and UK officials expressed support for the Syrian opposition in the course of Geneva talks.
Russia, Turkey and Iran, on the other hand, have mediated a parallel peace process between Syria’s warring parties in Astana, Kazakhstan, since January.
Russia plans to hold an all-Syrian congress, known as the Syrian National Dialog Congress, in the Russian resort city of Sochi, which would involve drawing up a framework for Syria’s future structure, adopting a new constitution and holding elections under the UN supervision.