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Geneva Talks Resume Today amid Tensions between De Mistura and Assad’s Delegation - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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UN mediator for Syria Staffan de Mistura at a meeting with the Syrian opposition delegation in Geneva last Thursday (Reuters)

UN mediator for Syria Staffan de Mistura at a meeting with the Syrian opposition delegation in Geneva last Thursday (Reuters)

While indirect Syrian peace talks resumed in Geneva today, western diplomatic sources spoke of UN envoy Staffan de Mistura’s “annoyance” at the statement made by the head of the regime’s delegation Bashar Al-Jaafari after the last session of talks on Friday in which he said that the adoption of a paper of principles presented on Monday to de Mistura “will open the door to serious dialogue between Syrians only and which is led by Syrians, without preconditions or foreign interference”. De Mistura understood the statement to be a criticism of his role.

The western sources that linked the fate of events in Geneva to the outcome of the meetings that will be conducted by the American Secretary of State John Kerry in Moscow this week expressed fears that the regime intends to “sabotage” the Geneva talks by intensively targeting opposition sites just as it did during the last round of talks.

The President of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Sources Anas Al-Abdah told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Kurds’ declaration of the establishment of a federal system in areas under their control in northern Syria “is void, and cannot be accepted in any form”. He stressed that the regime in Damascus, Iran and Russia are responsible for this project. Al-Abdah explained that the Kurds’ choice was not imposed through persuasion, but by arms, a security presence and cooperation with the Syrian regime, Iran and Russia. He also pointed out that the Kurds’ declaration is not feasible at the moment.