Opposition Leaders Touch Down in Geneva for Negotiations

Members of the Syrian opposition delegation arrive in Switzerland on Saturday ahead of second round of UN-backed peace talks

Syrian National Coalition vice-president Suheir al-Atassi arrived in Geneva Saturday, alongside deputy chief negotiator George Sabra, and opposition members Nasser al-Hariri, Fouad Aleiko, Abdelhakim Bashar, Natheer al-Hakim, and Riad Seif.

Members of the Syrian opposition delegation began to arrive in the Swiss city earlier on Saturday to attend the negotiations which are being held by the United Nations with the participation of the regime, set to begin on Monday. Head of the opposition delegation Asaad al-Zoubi arrived, as did its chief negotiator Mohammed Alloush, amid heavy security protection by the Swiss authorities.

The High Negotiations Committee of the Syrian opposition announced on Friday that it would participate in the upcoming round of talks in Geneva on Monday “based on its commitment to respond to the sincere international efforts to stop the shedding of Syrian blood and to find a political solution to the situation in the country,” according to its statements.

In response to statements by the regime’s foreign minister, Walid al-Muallem, which said that “the negotiations will not lead to presidential elections,” Atassi, a member of the Syrian opposition negotiating team, said that “with their protests, the Syrian people have renewed the vow that they want the fall of the regime,” and said that “it is clear that the regime is not serious about the political process.”

Atassi added that “what is most important is that the opposition wants to propose in Geneva a mechanism for implementing the Geneva declaration of 2012 by forming a fully-empowered transitional governing authority.”

She noted that “what is important is what the Syrian people are saying, calling with protests in which they are going out to renew the vow that they want the fall of the regime. The world has begun to see their desire anew as the protests and the revolution have begun to breathe again.”

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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