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Syria opposition ‘committed to political solution’

March 25, 2017 at 12:35 pm

Head of Syrian opposition delegation, Naser al-Hariri (C) delivers a speech during a press conference following a meeting with UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura as the fifth round of the intra-Syrian talks continues in Geneva, Switzerland on March 24, 2017 [Mohamad Misto / Anadolu Agency]

The head of the Syrian opposition delegation at peace talks in Geneva stressed their commitment to a “political solution” yesterday.

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura met delegates from the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad, headed by his envoy Bashar Al-Ja’afari, and representatives of the opposition, led by Nasr Al-Hariri.

Following his meeting with de Mistura, Al-Hariri said:

We are here to remove terrorism from our country. However, in order to liberate the country from Daesh, we should first liberate it from the [Assad] regime’s state terrorism.

The two had “a positive and fruitful meeting,” Al-Hariri said, adding they mainly discussed a transitional government in Syria.

“We are still committed to a political solution,” he said.

About a possible Raqqa offensive against Daesh with the involvement of the YPG leftist militant Kurdish organisation, Al-Hariri said:

“We do not want any force which has violated human rights to be present at such an operation. Only the [Syrian] national forces should be present [for the Raqqa operation].”

The last round of talks on Syria began on 23 February and ended on 4 March without any clear result.

De Mistura said he did not expect a miracle or a milestone this time but added that negotiations with representatives of the regime and opposition would continue today.

He previously urged participants to “do the necessary preparations in advance of the fifth round to be ready to engage substantively and proactively on the substance of all four baskets on the agenda in parallel.”

Before leaving for Geneva to attend Syria peace talks, de Mistura had met with Turkey’s Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Umit Yalcin in Ankara and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow.