Zoubi Skeptical Russia, US Able to Stop Assad’s Crimes

Top opposition figure voices doubts that Washington and Moscow can successfully pressure the Assad regime to accept a lasting ceasefire

Head of the opposition’s negotiating delegation to Geneva Asaad al-Zoubi said that the US and Russia are unable to control the situation in Syria.

In an interview with Sky News Arabia TV channel on Wednesday, Zoubi criticized the suggestion by the United Nations to resume talks in Geneva, saying that negotiations were suspended because of the repeated breaches of the truce by the Assad regime.

Zoubi’s remarks followed reports by civil defense teams inside Syria claiming 10 people, including women and children, were killed in air strikes by regime forces on the town of Binnish in rural Idleb on Tuesday.

UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said earlier that he would announce the date for the upcoming Geneva talks after the International Syria Support Group meeting on May 17, with the envoy's spokesman, Ahmad Fawzi, adding that both the US and Russia had voiced positive responses regarding the resumption of talks.

General Coordinator for the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee Riyad Hijab met with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in Paris on Tuesday to discuss international efforts to stop violations against the Syrian people, the reactivation of the “cessation of hostilities” agreement and making sure humanitarian aid is delivered to the those in need.

In a statement following his meeting with the Friends of the Syrian People Group in Paris on Monday, Hijab said it is essential to immediately and unconditionally implement UN Security Council resolutions on Syria in order for the political process to continue.

Hijab stressed that negotiations cannot be resumed without “ending violence, ending the suffering of the Syrian people, lifting the sieges, delivering aid to those in need, releasing detainees, and stopping executions and other arbitrary measures practiced against civilians by the Assad regime.”

The general coordinator underscored the importance of “adopting a new strategy by the United Nations to push the peace process forward through employing a more strict policy to address the violations perpetrated by the regime of Bashar al-Assad and its allies.”

This article was 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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