UN Envoy pays “courtesy visit” to Syrian opposition delegation for further talks

GENEVA, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) — The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, on Sunday paid a “courtesy visit” to the delegation of the main Syrian opposition at their hotel in Geneva following their arrival Saturday evening.

The spokesperson of the UN Envoy said that de Mistura also held a informal meeting with the delegation of the Syrian High Negotiations Committee (HNC), and the short informal meeting was useful in addressing issues relating to the intra-Syrian talks.

The U.N. Deputy Special Envoy for Syria, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, also on Sunday afternoon paid a “courtesy” visit to the delegation of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic to discuss practical arrangements related to the next steps in the talks, according to the spokesperson.

Syria’s main opposition group is now here in Geneva to join a major international efforts to broke peace talks for the country, but the uncertainty of the just-started UN-mediated intra-Syrian talks still remain.

The opposition spokesperson Salem el-Meslet told reporters Sunday that if they don’t see the necessary good will from the government side, they will not go into talks and will leave Geneva.

He said the opposition will discuss with UN Special Envoy for Syria their preconditions, including lifting the sieges, stopping the shelling and releasing detainees.

“If we see an implementation of these demands, including allowing trucks of aid into besieged areas, we will consider this as a sign of good will,” he noted.

On Friday, the HNC decided to participate in the talks after receiving alleged assurances from the United Nations and the United States, despite its announcement to boycott the talks which the United Nations had refused to postpone for a second time.

UN-brokered meetings are to take place over the next six months in view of finding lasting peace for Syria, a country at war since 2011.

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