The Syrian opposition’s decision to stop participating in the talks that are currently being held in Geneva pushed several international parties to intervene in order to save the fragile peace truce. Asharq Al-Awsat learned that the Americans requested that regional parties urge the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) of the Syrian Opposition to reverse its decision. This request is consistent with the efforts of UN envoy Staffan de Mistura who believes that suspending participation in or withdrawing from the talks will make it impossible to return to Geneva soon. It will also mean that his efforts have failed and that the roles of the Americans and the Russians are being weakened.
According to the Kremlin, the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Barack Obama reiterated their determination to strengthen the cease-fire in Syria during consultations over the telephone. However, the US State Department said in a statement yesterday evening that the Syrian opposition is right to be concerned about the regime’s continuing violation of the truce. It also said that Moscow must use its influence to stop the regime’s attacks and make it adhere to the ceasefire.
A series of intensive meetings were held in Geneva over the past two days between the HNC and the “hard core” of countries supporting the opposition. Meetings between these “hard cores” and the international envoy de Mistura also took place to look at the progress of the talks, assess the situation in light of threats to abandon the truce and discuss de Mistura’s agenda for the talks that are currently taking place and that were scheduled to be extended until next Tuesday.