Riad Hijab, the general coordinator of the opposition’s High Negotiation Committee (HNC), has doubted the United Nations’ ability to bring about a political transition in Syria. Hijab said the UN envoy Staffan de Mistura is no more calling for the formation of a transitional governing body, but adopting an agenda espoused by Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime.
Hijab went on to say that de Mistura’s message to stop the killings in Syria should have been addressed to the Assad regime.
“We are anticipating positive steps to be taken before we take a final decision about participation in the Geneva III conference. We will not enter the negotiating room before the humanitarian demands are met or if there is a third party at the negotiations,” Hijab said.
Hijab said that US Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated Washington’s opposition to giving any role for Assad in Syria’s future.
“Assad does not believe in the political process and does not want a political solution to the conflict, but it is procrastinating in order to crush the revolution and save his regime,” he added.
Hijab stressed the need for lifting sieges and stopping barrel bomb attacks as confidence-building measures before the launch of the negotiations. “Civilians in Syria are still trapped and starving to death despite the fact that UN Security Council resolution 2254 called for lifting sieges and stopping the bombardment of civilians immediately,” Hijab added. (Source: Syrian Coalition)