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Switzerland: Head of Syrian govt delegation brands opposition 'amateurs'03:02

Switzerland: Head of Syrian govt delegation brands opposition 'amateurs'

Switzerland, Geneva
February 2, 2016 at 07:18 GMT +00:00 · Published

Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari said that the Syrian opposition delegation were dealing with the intra-Syrian peace talks like "amateurs," while speaking to the press at the United Nations' Palais de Nation in Geneva, Tuesday.

"The other side are still dealing with the situation like amateurs, not like professional diplomats. We have said before and still repeat: according to Resolution 1254, this is a Syrian-Syrian dialogue, led by Syrians themselves, without prior demands and without any intrusion. This is the key to understanding and explaining why we came to Geneva," Jaafari said.

Speaking after a meeting with United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, the Syrian government representative went on to criticise Saudi involvement in the opposition delegation, stating that "choosing the opposition delegations and the sides is, according to Resolution 1254, a Syrian matter. Riyadh should not enforce a negotiator, neither should anyone else."

Jaafari, who is leading the Syrian government delegation at the talks, also called the opposition delegation insincere. "You are right to highlight the insincerity of the other side, based on hearing some announcements, some made here by representative of the other side. Announcements saying that if their previous demands are not met, they will leave on Thursday," he said.

Invitations for the talks between the Syrian government and several opposition groups were sent by the UN Security Council in late January, with the negotiations expected to last for at least six months.

The intra-Syrian negotiations are aimed at ultimately ending the five-year conflict in Syria, with the initial implementation of a ceasefire, an increase in first aid to civilians and the implementation of a broad opposition against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) all on the agenda.

Switzerland: Head of Syrian govt delegation brands opposition 'amateurs'03:02
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Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari said that the Syrian opposition delegation were dealing with the intra-Syrian peace talks like "amateurs," while speaking to the press at the United Nations' Palais de Nation in Geneva, Tuesday.

"The other side are still dealing with the situation like amateurs, not like professional diplomats. We have said before and still repeat: according to Resolution 1254, this is a Syrian-Syrian dialogue, led by Syrians themselves, without prior demands and without any intrusion. This is the key to understanding and explaining why we came to Geneva," Jaafari said.

Speaking after a meeting with United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, the Syrian government representative went on to criticise Saudi involvement in the opposition delegation, stating that "choosing the opposition delegations and the sides is, according to Resolution 1254, a Syrian matter. Riyadh should not enforce a negotiator, neither should anyone else."

Jaafari, who is leading the Syrian government delegation at the talks, also called the opposition delegation insincere. "You are right to highlight the insincerity of the other side, based on hearing some announcements, some made here by representative of the other side. Announcements saying that if their previous demands are not met, they will leave on Thursday," he said.

Invitations for the talks between the Syrian government and several opposition groups were sent by the UN Security Council in late January, with the negotiations expected to last for at least six months.

The intra-Syrian negotiations are aimed at ultimately ending the five-year conflict in Syria, with the initial implementation of a ceasefire, an increase in first aid to civilians and the implementation of a broad opposition against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) all on the agenda.

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