Syria opposition keen to move on transition

High Negotiations Committee in Geneva talks says it is looking at a 'six-month timeframe'

Syria opposition keen to move on transition

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Syrian opposition has said it is keen to move quickly on a six-month timeframe for a UN plan on political transition in Syria.

Speaking after a meeting between the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) and the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, HNC member Basma Kodmani said: "We are very keen to avoid a process that does not deliver...De Mistura reasserted that it was a six-month timeframe, hopefully less, but certainly not more. That to us is a reassurance."

"The timeframe is now set...we are taking the progress seriously," she added.

Kodmani said: "We presented de Mistura with a detailed memo on our vision of the transitional period and the formation of the transitional governing body."

"We heard from de Mistura about the other side's positions ... On our side, we are comfortable with written documents and that is what we did today. We are hoping he can press the other side to do the same, to provide such documents," she said.

About the opposition's position on federalism in Syria, HNC negotiator George Cabra said: "Of course, our discussion with de Mistura did not touch upon this point. We believe these measures are illegitimate, unacceptable, completely rejected."

After the meeting, de Mistura told reporters that there were "no discussions about federalism" regarding an apparent declaration by the PYD of a federal region in Syria’s north.

- ‘Large gap’ between sides -

The UN envoy said the distance between the Syrian government and opposition was “large”.

"Today, we had an intense, in my opinion, very productive meeting with HNC...It was very substantive. The papers on the political transition were distributed."

Noting that he will share the HNC documents with the regime delegation, de Mistura said he will meet separately with regime and opposition delegations on Friday.

The new round of talks in Geneva aim to end the war that has seen at least 250,000 Syrians killed and more than 11 million displaced, led to the rise of ISIL and sparked a refugee crisis.

The talks ended abruptly last month amid a Syrian government military offensive backed by Russian air power. Later, the U.S. and Russia agreed a “cessation of hostilities” deal that saw a dramatic reduction in fighting.

Last Mod: 18 Mart 2016, 15:48
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