05/30/2016, 09.19
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Syrian conflict: Chief opposition negotiator quits

Mohammed Alloush, leader of the High Negotiations Committee (Hnc), has resigned. His decision the result of the "failure" of the indirect UN peace talks and the continuing violence on the ground. Other leading opposition figures also ready to step down. United Nations peace efforts at risk.


Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The chief Syrian opposition negotiator Mohammed Alloush has resigned, due to the "failure" of the recent indirect UN peace negotiations in Geneva (Switzerland). The leader of the High Negotiations Committee (Hnc), which is supported by the Saudis, said that the negotiations have not been conducive to reaching a political agreement or improving the situation of the civilian population in areas under siege.

Analysts and experts say the resignation of Alloush -a member of Jaish al-Islam, the Islamic Army - could push other opposition leaders to abandon the talks, torpedoing any project of peace and political transition.

Last month the HNC "suspended" participation in the United Nations talks, led the UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura, blaming the government delegation for the stalemate in negotiations and the escalation of violence in the field.

As announced in recent days by the same de Mistura, currently there is no official date for the resumption of negotiations, at first announced for the end of May.

In an official statement the opposition leader (pictured right) stressed that "the three rounds of talks have not been successful" because of the "stubbornness" of the regime and the "continuous bombardment and attacks" against the Syrian people. In recent months, the anti-Assad opposition leaders (non-jihadist) in Geneva have expressed frustration at the lack of progress in talks.

Unresolved issues include the distribution of aid in the areas under siege, the slow progress in the release of political prisoners by the government and the total absence of steps towards a political transition that has ruled out the presence of President Bashar al-Assad.

So far the fragile truce reached on February 27 through the mediation of the United States and Russia remains in force, in spite of frequent violations on the ground.

The Syrian conflict broke out in March 2011 as a civil uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.  It has caused at least 280 thousand dead and sparked off an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, with millions of refugees.

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