Head of the opposition’s negotiations delegation to Geneva Asa’ad Alzoabi said that a new round of negotiations could not be launched so long as no progress has been made on the humanitarian track in Syria. Alzoabi said that this lack of progress was the main reason behind the suspension of Geneva negotiations.
Alzoabi pointed out that the UN Security Council resolution 2254 clearly called for lifting the sieges and allowing humanitarian access to civilians in the besieged and hard-to-reach areas. The resolution clearly talked about a sustained humanitarian access, not a one-off delivery that hardly suffices for one or two days, he added.
The UN envoy Staffan de Mistura’s remarks that the humanitarian situation in Syria has improved were made for media consumptions and are contrary to facts on the ground, Alzoabi said.
Alzoabi noted that the UN envoy’s announcement that negotiations will be resumed shortly was made after Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov directly has accused the UN envoy of failing to carry out the task he was assigned to do.
The Russians have been recently pressing to resume negotiations with the hope of taking advantage of the new situation in Aleppo, Alzoabi said. He stressed that the stance of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) regarding the negotiations will not be affected by the new situation in Aleppo, adding that the HNC will not give up demands for the departure of Bashar al-Assad and his inner circle nor will it change its position regarding the implementation of provisions set out in the Geneva Communiqué of 2012. (Source: Alsharq Alawsat)