Syrian opposition says regime must fulfil goodwill promises

Syrian opposition says Assad regime must start implementing goodwill measures within days, accuses UN peace envoy of going too far by declaring that Syrian peace talks have started

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

Monzer Makhous, an official from the Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee.

Updated Feb 2, 2016

A Syrian opposition official said on Monday that the Syrian regime must start the promised goodwill measures in a few days.

"The Syrian regime must state directly, frankly and without ambiguity that it is ready to implement (United Nations) Articles 12 and 13 immediately, and it must not take more than a few days," Monzer Makhous, an official from the Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee said.

"If not, the High Negotiations Committee will not take part in any other process," he said.

Makhous also accused UN Syrian envoy of being impertinent by announcing the start of Syrian peace talks.

"We told UN envoy [Staffan De Mistura] clearly that he must not interpret any interaction with him as being the start of the negotiations process," he said.

The UN Special Envoy Mistura also said it was not up to him to talk about a potential ceasefire during the peace talks and called on world powers to urgently start talks on how to solve the Syrian crisis.  

Speaking after meeting a Syrian opposition delegation, Staffan de Mistura said he was aware of opposition’s worries on the humanitarian crisis and that if the Assad regime allowed women and children prisoners to leave it would be a "signal that something is happening." 

Syrian opposition delegation for Syrian peace talks in Geneva is waiting for the Syrian regime’s negotiators to answer a UN plan for humanitarian steps "to end the suffering" in the country, opposition spokesman Salim al Muslat said on Monday.

"I believe we received very positive messages from the special envoy and tomorrow he will have a meeting with the regime side and we will see wait for a reply from him," he said. 

US pressures Russia for humanitarian access to Syria

Two senior US State Department officials, Anne Patterson and Michael Ratney, told Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov in Geneva on Monday that Russia should do more to help humanitarian access to reach Syria, a US official stated.

"Assistant Secretary Patterson underscored the need to work toward a political transition as outlined in UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and urged Russia to use its influence with the Assad regime to push for full humanitarian access to all Syrians in need," the US official said.

"The two sides agreed to remain in close contact on Syria as the UN-led negotiations proceed."

Meanwhile, regime forces and allied fighters captured a highland countryside close to Aleppo on Monday, and blocked one of the key positions against opposition forces, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

"The (latest) attack started at 2 am, with air strikes and missiles," said rebel commander Ahmed al Seoud.

"We took guarantees from America and Saudi Arabia to enter the negotiations ... (but) the regime has no goodwill and has not shown us any goodwill," he said.

TRTWorld and agencies