Conditions Not Favorable for Resumption of Negotiations: Hijab

Head of the opposition's negotiations team says talks should not recommence until Assad regime meets conditions ahead of plans to continue UN-backed talks on Wednesday

The head of the opposition High Negotiations Committee Dr. Riyad Hijab said that “the current conditions are not favorable for a resumption of negotiations,” three days after the United Nations set March 9 as the date for the coming talks.

“Given the lack of implementation of the opposition’s conditions, represented in allowing humanitarian aid to enter, releasing prisoners, implementing resolution 2254, and the compliance of the regime with the temporary truce, it is too early to talk about holding the talks at a specified date,” Dr. Hijab said.

Dr. Hijab said that throughout the seven days of the temporary truce’s life, “over 90 Syrian and Russian air raids with vacuum rockets, cluster bombs, and barrels of toxic gas, most prominently chlorine, have been documented.”

Regarding the political process, the opposition leader said that “there is no place for Bashar al-Assad and his clique in the transitional stage,” in response to a statement by the United Nations envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, which said that “the Syrian people are the ones who will decide Assad’s fate, not foreigners.”

In a related context, the UN envoy said in a television interview that he is “still optimistic” about the truce which began just over a week ago. “A number of people killed on Thursday was only four, compared with 60 or 80 who were dying daily before the truce,” he said.

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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