Syrian opposition rejects UN envoy’s proposal to pick representatives for upcoming Geneva talks


U.N. special envoy to Syria and mediator of Geneva peace talks Staffan de Mistura. File photo

ARA News

Damascus – The Syrian opposition on Wednesday criticised the United Nations special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura for saying that he could pick representatives of the opposition’s delegation to UN-led peace talks in Geneva “if they failed to do so”.

On Tuesday, de Mistura said the Syria peace talks will take place on February 20 “to give the opposition enough time to present a united delegation.”

The UN envoy warned that if the Syrian opposition had failed to pick its representatives by February 8, he would select the delegation “in order to make sure that it can be as inclusive as possible.”

Syrian opposition officials rejected de Mistura’s comments, considering them “unacceptable.”

Riad Hijab, the chief of the Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee, said: “Selecting the Syrian opposition delegation is not the business of de Mistura.”

Saleh al-Zein, a spokesman for the Syrian rebels, told ARA News: “It is unacceptable to have de Mistura picking representatives for the opposition. He would never issue such a statement about the regime’s participation in the Geneva talks.”

The UN-led talks in Geneva are expected to bring representatives of the Syrian regime and the opposition to the table of negotiations once again, in a bid to find a ground for a political solution to the 6-year-old conflict in Syria.

Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi 

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