World Bulletin / News Desk
The UN has suspended Syria peace talks in Geneva on Wednesday.
UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura announced a “temporary pause” in peace talks due to intensified fighting in Syria.
"This is not the end, and it is not the failure of the talks," de Mistura said after meeting with the delegation of Syrian opposition in Geneva on Wednesday night.
De Mistura set the date of Feb. 25 for the resumption of the peace talks in Geneva.
The High Negotiations Committee (HNC) chief coordinator, Riyad Hijab, said Wednesday that the opposition delegation will not come to Geneva on Feb. 25 for peace talks if demands on humanitarian initiatives were not met.
"The HNC delegation will leave Geneva tomorrow and will not return here unless we see something on the ground," said Hijab. "It seems the Syrian regime does not want a success from the Syria talks in Geneva."
Hijab said the pause in talks was a chance for the international community to put pressure on the regime and its allies.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also criticized the Syrian regime for further complicating the Syria talks.
“The Geneva talks have been further burdened by the military offensive of the Syrian army in Aleppo, and the unwillingness of the [President Bashar al-] Assad regime to allow humanitarian access to besieged cities and villages, this has become more clear in recent days,” Steinmeier said in a written statement Wednesday.
He underlined that despite many existing hurdles, the Vienna process and Geneva talks remained the only option for finding political solution to the civil war in Syria.
The Munich Security Conference, scheduled for Feb 12-14, will also offer an opportunity for regional actors to meet again, he also said.
The Syria peace talks were officially declared underway Monday as de Mistura met Syrian opposition delegates in Geneva.
The opposition delegation, the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), had been waiting for the regime delegation to address humanitarian issues in Syria to begin negotiations.
The opposition also wanted UN Security Council Resolution 2254 to be fully implemented by all parties before starting the negotiations.
The resolution constitutes a road map for peace in Syria that sets timetables for negotiations and outlines a nationwide cease-fire to begin as soon as initial steps toward a political transition are made.
The peace talks were expected to focus on setting up an interim government, write a constitution and staging elections within two years.
Initial priorities included establishing a cease-fire, supplying humanitarian aid and tackling the Daesh issue.
All parties in the conflict met in Geneva in a UN-brokered bid to end the five-year war, which has caused more than 250,000 deaths and displaced more than 11 million people.