Syria opposition picks group for new peace talks

2017-02-13 06:24
A Syrian boy rides his bike past the destruction in the once rebel-held Jalloum neighbourhood of eastern Aleppo. (Hassan Ammar, AP)

A Syrian boy rides his bike past the destruction in the once rebel-held Jalloum neighbourhood of eastern Aleppo. (Hassan Ammar, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beirut - Syria's opposition on Sunday announced its 21-member delegation, including 10 rebel representatives, for a new round of UN-sponsored peace talks in Geneva scheduled for February 20.

The delegation will be headed by Nasr al-Hariri, a member of the National Coalition, replacing Assad al-Zoabi, who led the opposition at several previous rounds of talks in Geneva last year.

Boycotting talks

The delegation's chief negotiator was named as Mohamed Sabra, a lawyer who was part of the opposition's technical team during negotiations in Geneva in 2014.

He replaces Mohamad Alloush, a rebel from the powerful Army of Islam faction.

Alloush served as negotiator during three rounds of peace talks in Geneva as well as negotiations in the Kazakh capital Astana in January organised by Turkey and Russia.

Neither Alloush nor the Army of Islam were listed as members of the delegation to Geneva, though it was unclear if the group was boycotting the talks or would be represented by other delegates.

No reason was given for the decision to replace either Zoabi or Alloush.

The delegation includes representatives from several rebel groups, including Faylaq al-Sham, an Islamist faction active around Damascus and Liwa Sultan Murad, a battalion close to Turkey.

The umbrella High Negotiations Committee (HNC) opposition group said the delegation to the talks would for the first time include representatives from two additional opposition groupings, known informally as the Moscow group and the Cairo group.

But representatives from both groups denied they were included in the delegation.

Allow opposition

In the past, the HNC has opposed including the two rival opposition groupings in its delegation, accusing members of the coalitions of being too flexible with regard to the Syrian government.

The Moscow grouping includes former minister Qadri Jamil, and is close to the Russian leadership, while the Cairo grouping includes former foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi.

Invitations to the talks in Geneva have yet to go out, having been delayed in part to allow the opposition to decide on the composition of their delegation.


Read more on:    syria  |  syria conflict

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.