15:17 GMT +307 December 2019
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    High Negotiations Committee (HNC) (Syrian opposition body) supporters hold a Syrian flag during a press conference on Syrian peace talks at the Place des Nations outside of the United Nations Offices on February 2, 2016 in Geneva.

    Syria Peace Talks Postponed as Saudi-Backed Opposition Threatens to Boycott

    © AFP 2019 / Fabrice Coffrini
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    Syrian peace talks have been postponed until possibly March 1 because the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) opposition group, which is backed by Saudi Arabia, threatened to boycott them, a member of the Syrian opposition delegation formed after meetings in Moscow and Cairo told Sputnik Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Syrian peace talks were expected to restart in Switzerland on February 25 after the previous round failed in Geneva on February 3.

    “The Riyadh group threatened to boycott the talks completely, that is why [UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan] de Mistura made a compromise to postpone the talks in order to create favorable circumstances for the talks, to eliminate all the reasons for a boycott,” Jamil said clarifying that the UN envoy decided to wait until the cessasion of hostilities and the deliveries of humanitarian relief had actually begun.

    “The talks are penciled in to start on March 1 in Montreux,” Kadri Jamil said.

    This week, Russia and the United States announced an agreement on the cessation of hostilities between the Syrian government and armed opposition factions in the country. The agreement will come into force on February 27.

    Jamil welcomed the US-Russian agreement on the cessation of hostilities, saying “it has chances to succeed because there are no other alternatives.”


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