The fourth round of the UN-mediated intra-Syrian talks in Geneva wrapped up on Friday, with the sides agreeing on several "baskets" of issues to be addressed during the next round. On the opposition side, the talks were attended by the Riyadh-backed High Negotiations Committee (HNC) and the Cairo platform. The Moscow platform refused to take part, citing organizers' bias toward the HNC, while the Hmeimim group and the Damascus Platform were never invited.
"We ask… the international sponsors and UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura to form a third delegation, along with the governmental and opposition delegations, which will include representatives from the rest of the political and social spectrum in Syria, from parties, civil society organizations, and independents, including tribal and regional dignitaries. In addition, we demand a fair representation for the Kurdish component and the Syriac in northern Syria," the Damascus Platform said in the statement.
"A wide range of representatives of the Syrian people are not taking part in the ongoing political process in Geneva, and thus cannot discuss the core issues which form the political future of Syria and include issues like the constitution, the government and elections, while the Syrian political spectrum in its entirety is being ignored, as it was mentioned in the 2254 resolution," the statement reads.
The Damascus Platform is one of the numerous groups of Syrian opposition that brings together representatives of the country's civil society and lawmakers among others. The body was created in November 2016.
At the very start of the latest round of the Geneva talks, de Mistura distributed to the Syrian sides the procedural paper where he defined the agenda as three baskets: governance, constitution and elections. However, the talks concluded with no clear practical results reached.