Syrian opposition wants Geneva talks on political transition

Feb 16, 2017, 00:37
Syrian opposition wants Geneva talks on political transition

Talks on Syria are expected to start on February 16 in Astana following a one-day delay, but Ankara and Moscow have differed on the objective of the discussions in the Kazakh capital.

"The negotiations have been moved to 16 February for technical reasons", a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told AFP by telephone without elaboration.

The so-called Syrian Liberation Army, among the armed opposition groups, has ratified the transfer of many representatives to this city to participate in the second round of meetings on January 23rd and 24th. Turkey has sent a lower-level delegation to the talks, compared with the previous round, because some senior diplomats were accompanying President Tayyip Erdogan on a foreign visit, Lavrentiev said.

BEIRUT/ROME The main Syrian opposition body said on Wednesday it wanted face-to-face negotiations with the Damascus government about a political transition at peace talks that are due to begin in Geneva next week. Jordan will also be represented by a "high-level delegation", government spokesman Mohamed Momani said.

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It added that those invited include "the Syrian government" and "representatives of the Syrian armed opposition", as well as United Nations envoy Staffan de Mistura and USA observers.

Russian Federation and Iran have helped turn the tables on the ground with their military backing for Assad, while Turkey has supported rebels fighting to oust the leader.

According to the source, the following issues are on the agenda of the talks: implementation of the ceasefire regime in Syria, agreeing the provision on a joint operational group and other documents related to the districts and zones that joined the ceasefire regime.