Abdul Hakim Bashar. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Syrian opposition parties have quit the Geneva talks, warning they will not return until the Syrian regime is serious about a transfer of power and stops attacks on civilians.
Abdul Hakim Bashar, a member of the Syrian opposition at the peace talks told Rudaw that the regime has taken no serious steps about a transfer of power.“It has increased violations against civilians by besieging 20 towns with the army,” he added.
Bashar insisted that "unless the government gives up on these violations, ceases tensions and improves humanitarian conditions in Syria, we will not be willing to resume meetings.
"He also explained that "the Syrian government has violated the International Security Council's resolution No. 2254.
“We met with Staffan de Mistura, the UN envoy to Syria, and gave him a four-point call to be implemented,” Bashar explained. He said the opposition would return to the talks once those points have been implemented.
UN resolution 2254 is meant to endorse a road map for a peace process in Syria by setting a timetable for talks.
Last week, Bashar Jaafari, chief negotiator of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government at the Geneva talks, reacted to the suspension of the Syrian oppositions' participation at the talks by saying: "Damascus is participating in the Geneva talks in order to form a grand coalition government presided by Bashar Assad.
Bashar, the opposition member, said that the siege of towns by the army had grown from one to 20 since the beginning of the Geneva process
The Syrian opposition’s decree to suspend the talks follows the ending of an armistice by 10 Islamic groups, most notably Aharar al-Sham and Jaish al-Islam, as a response to the violations to the truce by the Syrian government.
De Mistura said that the "High Negotiation Committee wants to postpone formal participation to express their own displeasure about the humanitarian and truce situation." He added that the opposition intends to remain in Geneva and possibly to continue technical discussions with the UN on political issues.