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French Sources ‘Pressuring’ De Mistura on Syrian Opposition Delegation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura. Reuters

Paris- Paris and other parties have been putting pressure on U.N. Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura to back off from hints that he would form Syria’s opposition delegation in case the latter failed to do so by February 8, according to senior French official sources.

The sources told Asharq Al-Awsat they informed de Mistura that he should give the entity enough time to form its delegation, which is supposed to include members from the political opposition, different factions fighting in Syria, and many of those who are pro a political solution.

Moreover, they told de Mistura that he does not have the political authority to impose on them the delegation’s membership.

What Paris is telling the representative of the U.N. Secretary General is also applied for Russia, Iran and Turkey.

However, it believes that the opposition’s mission will not be easy due to converging viewpoints on the Kurds given that Turkey totally rejects the presence of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), People’s Protection Units (YPG) or Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the delegation regardless of their military presence in the battlefield.

According to French sources, the Turkish-Russian agreement, which under the Kurds were excluded from the Astana talks, will also be applied to the Geneva meeting. This means de Mistura will find it difficult to resolve the Syrian crisis.

Nevertheless, although Paris believes in the importance of the Kurdish representation, it considers that this matter should not be an obstacle to the Geneva talks.

France also believes that de Mistura should find a diplomatic solution to put on hold the participation of the Kurds, whose presence in the opposition delegation is important in reaching a political solution in the country.