Talks in Geneva, victims in Damascus

Ahmed Abbas
2 Min Read

The main Syrian opposition group participating in the Geneva peace negotiations said it will meet the UN envoy to Syria Staffan di Mistura on Monday after he gave them an affirmative response and after they received guarantees from international supporters regarding the humanitarian issues.

Sleem Al Muslat, spokesperson for the group, said the opposition came to Geneva to save the Syrian people by insisting on the application of UN resolution number 2254, which aims to provide more humanitarian aid to Syria and to halt the attacks on civilians.

The opposition group will meet di Mistura late on Monday.

Moscow said the representative of the Jaysh al-Islam group should not participate in Syrian peace talks in Geneva, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told TASS on Monday.

“We have always said that for us this [Jaysh al-Islam] is a terrorist organisation,” Gatilov said. “We believe that they should not be among the delegation members.”

He added that the final decision will be taken by di Mistura.

Gatilov will meet with both the UN envoy and the US delegations Monday to discuss the peace talks.

Expected to last for six months, the so-called proximity talks will feature delegations from the respective factions in the conflict sequestered in separate rooms with UN officials shuttling between them.

The peace talks, which mark the first time that the warring sides in Syria will meet in an effort to find a political solution in two years, officially began on Friday, with di Mistura meeting the delegation of the Syrian government.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an attack claimed by  “Islamic State” in Damascus Sunday resulted in the death of more than 70 person.

A car bomb and two suicide bombers attacked a district known to contain one of the most holy shrines for Shi’a Muslims.

The attack targeted a bus carrying a Shi’a militant in the district of Sayeda Zeinab, reports Al-Monitor.

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Ahmed Abbas is a journalist at DNE’s politics section. He previously worked as Egypt based reporter for, and interned as a broadcast journalist at Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin. Abbas is a fellow of Salzburg Academy of Media and Global Change. He holds a Master’s Degree of Journalism and New Media from Jordan Media Institute. He was awarded by the ICFJ for best public service reporting in 2013, and by the German foreign office for best feature in 2014.
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