MESOP Syria Daily: Assad Regime — We’ll Have “Peace Talks” On Our Own ( ASSAD MAKES PEACE WITH ASSAD!)
February 08 – by Scott Lucas – eaworldview – Syria’s Assad regime has said that it is ready for “peace talks” even if the opposition-rebel bloc is absent. Foreign Minister Walid Muallen said in an interview with the pro-regime al-Mayadeen television channel on Sunday, “”If they (the opposition delegation” don’t arrive, we will continue anyway.”
Discussions in Geneva ended after less than five days last week, amid intense Russian bombing and a regime-Hezbollah-Iranian offensive in northwest Syria. The opposition-rebel High Negotiations Committee said it will not join “proximity talks” with the regime without ceasefires and access to aid for besieged areas. The Assad regime said, before the discussions, that it would make no concessions.
UN envoy Staffan de Mistura suspended the talks last Wednesday and scheduled a resumption for February 25. The UN and the 20-nation International Syria Support Group will convene in Munich on Thursday to discuss the situation.Moallem said the High Negotiations Committee, established in December at a conference in Saudi Arabia, had only gone to Geneva after pressure from Russia and the United States. “They have no authority and represent no one but themselves.”
Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime refused to recognize the HNC because of the involvement of rebel factions such as Jaish al-Islam. Moscow tried to put forth an alternative list of 15 delegates, including Kurdish representatives and politicians close to Russia, but the effort yielded no result in Geneva.