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Syrian Peace Talks Suspended - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Jaysh al-Islam Senior Commisioner in the Syrian Opposition's delegation in Geneva-AFP

Jaysh al-Islam Senior Commisioner in the Syrian Opposition’s delegation in Geneva-AFP

Geneva- U.N. Special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, announced on Wednesday the current Syrian peace talks in Geneva suspended, to be resumed on Feb. 25. Mr. de Mistura admitted that “there’s more work to be done”. Yet it is worth mentioning that, since both the Syrian regime and Opposition delegations’ arrival on Friday and Saturday respectively, negotiations were not instigated. Mr. de Mistura further added that after meeting with Riyad Hijab, head of the Syrian Opposition delegation, he decided on postponing the talks to better attend to solving statutory suits before resuming any negotiations.

A Security Council meeting will be held before returning to the U.N. Office at Geneva, de Mistura added.

The suspension proves allegations projected on Mr. de Mistura sending off peace talks invitations without proper preparation or providing a positive yielding atmosphere. For the first six days of the 3rd Syrian Geneva convention, Mr. de Mistura faced conflicting demands and stances. Later also came the military broad attack launched on Aleppo by regime forces and Russian Air Force, which left the Syrian Opposition to a critical condition.

After talks being put on hiatus, Hijab declared that the Opposition’s delegation will be leaving Geneva on Thursday Jan.4, and will not be returning to the peace talks before humanitarian demands are met in a tangible manner.

He also added that the Riyadh-based High Negotiations Committee (HNC) had initially attended the negotiations on the basis of humanitarian guarantees being encountered with a positive response from pro-Assad forces. However, the complete opposite had taken place.

Furthermore, Hijab pointed out that the political process being interrupted falls on the hands of the Syrian regime.

Amid stumbling diplomatic efforts, the U.N. envoy’s proposition on ceasefire surfaced, which due to military ground status was perceived virtually inapplicable and premature by experts. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, brought about the ceasefire’s proposition, said that Russia has already put forth pragmatic concepts on how a permanent ceasefire can be achieved in Syria.

The proposition of Syrian ceasefire also showed up on a leaked confidential strategy paper, acquired by Foreign Policy (American magazine). The document “Draft Ceasefire Modalities Concept Paper” revealed Mr. de Mistura’s inclination towards establishing a special secret unit for Syria that will deal with various files like data collection.