MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Monday, the Riyadh-backed Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee (HNC) announced it was putting its formal participation in the proximity discussions with Syrian President Bashar Assad's government, being held in Geneva, on hold in protest at the new wave of violence in the country, especially near the northern city of Aleppo, and the worsening situation with humanitarian aid access.
"The Syrian peace talks will only make progress if both sides are prepared to discuss political transition, the cessation of hostilities is respected and full humanitarian access is granted for those areas in desperate need of aid," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that the United Kingdom "will continue to engage with our international partners to push for progress."
The new round of intra-Syrian talks began in Geneva on April 13. This round was supposed to focus on Syria's political transition and governance. On Monday, after several days of discussions, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura acknowledged a remaining gap between the two sides on the issue. While the HNC wants no role for Assad in any transitional government, the government delegation is insisting on a "broad-based government."