Damascus Shuns Away From Power Transition Issues at Syrian Talks - HNC Head

Terror act in Homs

A war on terror should dominate the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, Syria's Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar Jaafari, head of the government delegation, said on Saturday.

In December, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces were able to expel rebel fighters from their longtime stronghold on the eastern side of the city of Aleppo, which was Syria's economic capital before the war began. "It will not be easy", the UN Special Envoy for Syria said, "but we must apply ourselves to this task".

De Mistura said the agenda will focus on three items: the establishment of a credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance; the drafting of a new constitution; and free and fair elections under United Nations supervision.

De Mistura says he's hewing to goals outlined in a United Nations.

Contet noted that Security Council resolution 2254 asks the envoy to convene "formal negotiations on the political transition process".

Speaking earlier Saturday, Mistura said the Homs attacks were created to "spoil" peace talks. "We are going to give it a serious try".

Speaking ahead of the meeting, an opposition delegation member said they hoped to achieve "at least something at the human dimension: lifting the siege in certain areas, getting aid to those who are besieged". "If the Homs operation was done by any of those, it is clear what I say", Nasr al-Hariri, the leader of Syria's main opposition group, the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), told journalists. "If anyone refuses to condemn this terrorist attack then he is an accomplice of terrorism and we will deal with them accordingly".

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The government envoys "are here just to buy time and commit more crimes in Syria. There is no trust in this regime". Those joint efforts led to both the cease-fire and talks between the Syrian sides in Astana, Kazakhstan.

"There are spoilers, we have seen it all the time during the last talks and perhaps they may even be attempting or tempted to [do] something before or during the talks to provoke one side or the other to walk out", de Mistura said on Wednesday.

Geneva talks in April past year never brought the negotiators together face-to-face and de Mistura had to meet the delegations separately.

A bitter dispute over Assad's fate also continues to divide the camps. "At the top of them, the brigadier general who was killed today, is accused in the (Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq) al-Hariri case, in addition to detainees who were in the custody of the state", Hassoun said.

Anas al-Abdah demanded the new USA government to design a clear strategy towards the current situation in Syria.

"We have heard from Mr.de Mistura positive ideas and suggestions, I believe he is more enthusiastic to be engaged seriously in political transition", he said.

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