The former chairman of the Syrian opposition Transitional National Council (SNC) Burhan Ghalioun has said that the Vienna meeting that concluded on Saturday and led to a consensus on a political process in Syria “did not solve anything” in his estimation.
Ghalioun also said that he considers the joint press statement issued by the attendees of the meeting as nothing more than an “external cover hiding the absence of an agreement.”
The French Syrian professor stressed that “the meeting did not offer a solution to any one of the outstanding issues; whether the Al-Assad node, the nature of the transitional period stated in the Geneva Agreement, the representation of the opposition, the definition of terrorism, the fate of foreign militias, or the reasons for the ongoing regional war which today occupies the Syrian front.”
“The new Vienna statement provided a picture of how international diplomacy is able to use time to neutralise different players in the game, and showed us that if the will to achieve an actual fair settlement doesn’t exist then at least we should save our diplomatic reputation and avoid the collapse of international negotiations on the Syrian crisis,” he added.
Diplomats representing countries supporting the various factions in the Syrian conflict announced on Saturday that they had reached an agreement regarding a provisional timetable for political transition in Syria that aims to end the ongoing crisis in the country.
US Secretary of State John Kerry announced an agreement that sets 1 January 2016 as the date by which to begin talks between the government of Bashar Al-Assad and opposition factions. Kerry also announced that UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura has been assigned with the immediate task of determining who will sit at this negotiating table.