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Dates for Peace Talks Are "Hypothetical"- Syrian Opposition - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Asaad Al-Zoubi (L), head of the Syrian opposition delegation, arrives with George Sabra, a member of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), for peace talks at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Asaad Al-Zoubi (L), head of the Syrian opposition delegation, arrives with George Sabra, a member of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), for peace talks at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

A senior Syrian opposition official said on Wednesday that as long as the current truce does not realize its humanitarian demands, dates for resuming the United Nations-backed Syria peace talks remain hypothetical.

A cessation of hostilities agreement drawn up by Russia and the United Sates came into force early on Saturday and the U.N. said on Tuesday that a new attempt at peace talks would begin on March 9.

The truce does not include operations against ISIS group or the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front. Both the government and the opposition have accused each other of violating the agreement intended to halt nearly five years of fighting. International observers have acknowledged such violations while reporting that the level of violence has decreased considerably.

“As long as the truce does not help implement the terms (of the United Nations resolution), all dates for the resumption of negotiations remain hypothetical,” Syrian opposition official George Sabra told Arabic news channel Arabiya al-Hadath.

“What is the value of a truce if its overseers – meaning America and Russia – do not push all sides to abide by it?” he said.

The opposition is demanding full access to humanitarian aid, in addition to lifting off government sieges, releasing detainees and halting air strikes before taking part in negotiations. These were some of the conditions laid down in a U.N. Security Council resolution passed in December.

“The stability and success of implementing the truce’s goals will be the main factor for the resumption of negotiations on the date announced by De Mistura,” Sabra said.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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