Syria negotiator resigns over failed UN peace talks

Exclusive to The Middle East Online

Edited by Nelly Tawil

Sunday brought about the resignation of the chief peace negotiator of Ayria’s main opposition bloc, who claimed he was resigning over the failure of the UN-backed Geneva peace talks to bring a political settlement to the Syria crisis.

Mohammad Alloush, who is also the representative of the powerful Jaysh al-Islam rebel faction in the Saudi-based High Negotiations Committee, said in a statement that the peace talks had also failed to secure the release of thousands of detainees or to push Syria towards a political transition without President Assad.

“The International Community need to put serious pressure on Russia and Assad to stop the killing of our people.”

A date has not been set for the resumption of the peace talks after the High Negotiations Committee suspended their participation over intensifying of regime air strikes in recent weeks.

Asaad al- Zoubi, the head of the main Syrian opposition delegation, expressed similar interests and made comments of wanting to be relieved from his post in the HNC however he did not confirm he had taken a similar step.

A source in the opposition said Zoubi was replaced in a reshuffle of the HNC negotiating tem that includes both military factions and political groupings.

Zoubi said no real discussions had taken place in the four months since the latest rounds of Geneva peace talks began and opposition pleas to get the UN-backed process to pressure the Syrian authorities to allow humanitarian aid to besieged areas had gone unheeded.

In April, the Syrian opposition suspended its formal participation in peace talks, saying it would only return if the situation on the ground radically changed. They were protesting against Syrian army offensives that they said meant a ceasefire was in effect over. However, they were under strong pressure not to quit altogether.