Head of the Syrian Arab Republic’s delegation to Syria-Syrian dialogue in Geneva Bashar al-Jaafari rejected Tuesday that indirect peace talks have properly begun, with the head of its delegation saying the negotiations are still in a “preparatory phase” and calling the opposition “not serious”.
“We are still at the stage of preparations for the indirect talks between our delegation and that of the opposition groups. We don’t know until this moment who is the delegation that is going to represent these groups.”
Al-Jaafari told reporters in Geneva after a meeting between the delegation and the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura “We asked de Mistura to inform us of the names of those who are going to participate in the indirect talks,” adding “We came for the dialogue without preconditions, and we don’t accept preconditions from anyone.”
Al-Jaafari pointed out that the Syrian delegation arrived in Geneva in time, “and we didn’t speak to the media in compliance with the procedural terms so as to remain accurate and avoid any misleading of the public opinion.”
Al-Jaafari made it clear that the delegation raised the issue of the participation of the two terrorist organizations of “Ahrar al-Sham” and “Jaish al-Islam” during the talks with de Mistura, noting that the latter promised to discuss the issue with the other parties.
“Our delegation is committed to the text of the invitation letter addressed by de Mistura and that of the resolution no. 2254, whereas the other party is dealing with this matter like amateurs and not professional politicians,” said al-Jaafari.
A meeting between the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic and UN Special Envoy for Syria was held earlier today at the UN headquarters in Geneva.
In the same context, UN sources and others close to the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic indicated that the delegation presented through de Mistura a three-point demand, including that the Riyadh opposition issue a clear statement of condemnation of the terrorist bombings that took place in al-Sayyeda Zainab on Sunday and all acts of ISIL and al-Nusra Front (Qaeda branch in the Levant) and the terrorist organizations linked to them wherever they happen.
The second point was to determine lists of the names of the opposition figures to hold the indirect dialogue with and the third point was about the role of the other opposition groups present in Geneva, according to the sources, who noted that the delegation awaits answers.
The sources said de Mistura promised to present these lists to the Syrian Arab Republic’s delegation tomorrow, noting that de Mistura stressed that it is now a preliminary stage of the indirect dialogue, and once another delegation sits down with the mediator at the UN HQ, then only at that moment one can speak of an official start of the dialogue and not now where there are only intermittent meetings.