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Chief Negotiator in Geneva 4: Regime Rejects Political Transformation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura delivers his speech during the 53rd Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February 19, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

London- High Negotiations Committee (HNC) chief negotiator to Geneva Mohamed Sabra, commenting on the first day of Geneva 4, said that there was an attempt to shift the political process in Syria from a negotiation between two parties to a multi-parties process. This was represented in the presence of Egypt and Moscow and their rejection to integrate in the HNC delegation.

Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper asked Sabra about his tweet “…Some adore illusive achievements because they love to play heroes” if it was a way to express his disappointment or only a response to the exaggerated statements in assessing Geneva 4, he said that the first session has not achieved any outcome, unfortunately, and the regime until this moment still rejects to get involved in a specific political process and refusing to approve Geneva statement or the relevant internal resolutions.”

Sabra added, “The regime still insists on neglecting the requirements of a solution and the clear roadmap in resolutions 2118 and 2254. The regime is still stuck in April 2011 when head of Syrian regime Bashar Assad delivered his speech, repeating the same statements and procrastinating to achieve a military solution. ”

The newspaper asked the chief negotiator on the confusion regarding the term “transitional government” and his reply was as follows: “UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura uses the term of the transitional political process and he means a comprehensive process with a participatory approach in the ruling, constitution and elections. The opposition means with the political transition a ruling authority that substitutes the regime bodies.”

Commenting on the latest report of de Mistura, Sabra stated, “In fact, we were baffled by some points in the report especially that they contradicted with resolution 2254. De Mistura said that Syrians are the decision-makers in the political process based on resolutions 2118 and 2253.”

The newspaper asked, “Before leaving to Geneva 4 you said that the current opposition delegation is the best representative of revolution forces. Do you still think it is a matter of the most representative delegation or that of the widest experience and greatest wisdom?”

Sabra answered, “I still agree to that. The current delegation of HNC is good, united and has a wide experience in negotiations as well as the required political wisdom. But you should keep in mind the circumstances. A successful political process is not related to wisdom or experience of one party only, but is mainly related to the existence of three elements: willingness of both parties to reach a solution, a clear framework for negotiations within a specific timeline and finally mechanisms to implement this solution. ”

He added, “Unfortunately, we don’t have a partner in the political process until this moment due to the regime’s obstinacy in addition to it insisting on a military solution instead of a political one.”