The Syrian opposition announced on Sunday the names of its delegation participating in the Geneva 4 negotiations, expected to be held on February 20, including 21 political and military figures with the most prominent rebel groups absent.
The delegation list was agreed to after a meeting held by the High Negotiations Committee on February 10 and 11, 2017, and includes the following:
1 – Nassar al-Hariri – Syrian National Coalition
2 – Mohamed Sabra – independent
3 – Mohamed al-Shimali – Syrian National Coalition (Turkmani)
4 – Fouad Aliko – Syrian National Coalition (Kurdish)
5 – Alice Mouffarej – National Coordination Committee
6 – Abdel Majid Hamou – National Coordination Committee
7 – Nashat Taima – National Coordination Committee
8 – Abdel Ahad Satifou – Syrian National Coalition
9 – Khalid Mahamid – Cairo platform
10 – Basma Qasmani – independent
11 – Alaa Arafat – Moscow platform
The rebel group participants are:
1 – Fatih Hassoun – Tahrir Homs Movement – North
2 – Bashar al-Zouabi – Southern Front – South
3 – Mouatassam Shamir – Al-Rahman Legion – South
4 – Ahmed Osman – Sultan Murad Brigade – North
5 – Ziad al-Hariri – Southern Front – South
6 – Rakan Doukan – Southern Front – South
7 – Khalid Aba – Southern Front – North
8 – Mamoun Hajj Mousa – Suqour al-Sham – North
9 – Haytham Rahma – Sham Legion – North
10 – Khalid al-Nablasi – Southern Front – South
A source in the Syrian National Coalition noted that this list is final, however at the same time he pointed to the potential of there being amendments to it.
According to the list, representatives from Ahrar al-Sham and Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam) will be absent from the talks — after the latter headed the opposition delegation at the Astana talks held on January 23 and 24, 2017.
In a related context, Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said that the UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura should take up his responsibility related to forming a delegation from the Syrian opposition participating in the Geneva talks.
This came in an interview with Lavrov on Sunday with the Russian channel NTV. He said the "whims" of some opposition leaders, especially those living abroad, should not be taken into consideration. "If it once again becomes a hindrance to hold UN talks, then the organization's reputation will be seriously damaged," he said.
According to what the Russia Today website reported about Lavrov, Moscow is arranging another meeting between the Assad regime and Syrian rebel groups, noting that Jordan will participate in including the groups of the Southern Front into the political process.
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.