Syrian Opposition Interlink Geneva Talks and Astana Results

The Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee linked on Wednesday its participation in the Geneva talks expected on Feb. 23 to the results of Thursday’s “Astana 2” meetings amid its insistence to reject the discussion of any political issue.

“In principle, we will participate in the Geneva talks, but our final decision is based on what the Astana talks will witness today (Thursday),” member of the HNC Fouad Aliko told.
He said: “If participants do not discuss the issue of consolidating the ceasefire, the building of trust on humanitarian issues and the release of detainees, then all opposition factions will withdraw from the meeting and therefore our participation in Geneva will be useless.”
The latest developments came as U.N. special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said from Rome on Wednesday that the agenda of Syrian peace talks due to begin in Geneva next week will be line with a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at ending the conflict and will not be changed.

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