Thursday, February 23, in Geneva should start in the fourth round of negotiations on the settlement of the war in Syria. However, after 20 February, the UN began to send invitations to representatives of the Syrian opposition, it became clear that of the four main opposition groups the invitation was received only two: Higher Committee on negotiations (CPSU), supported by Saudi Arabia, and the so-called “Cairo group”.
Did not receive an invitation close to the Moscow group “Hamim”, formed in March 2016, after the start of Russian military operations. Group “Moscow platform” received the invitation, however, the conditions of participation of its representatives are not satisfied.
How to read the invitation
February 10, representatives of the Cairo and Moscow platforms the Syrian opposition has written to the UN Secretary General appeal, which outlined his vision of forming a single delegation of the Syrian opposition. In their opinion, the General delegation was to consist of 15-16 people: three representatives from each of the opposition platforms (Moscow, Cairo, Riyadh, Hamim) and one representative from the so-called the Astana group, who participated in the previous meeting in Geneva. The remaining places were offered to distribute among other opposition groups.
However, 11 Feb Higher Committee on negotiations said that as a result of the consultation was formed of a single delegation of the opposition, which consists of 20 representatives: 10 from the CPSU and close to it groups, 10 armed groups under the leadership of Nasr al-Hariri, representative of the National coalition of opposition and revolutionary forces (NKORS).
Special envoy of the UN Secretary General, Staffan de Mistura, has invited all declared delegates of the CPSU and from the Moscow and Cairo platforms called 10 people: six can act as official negotiators, and four as advisers, said the representative of “Moscow platform” Qadri Jamil. The numerical advantage of the representatives of the CPSU can not talk about equal participation of representatives of the Syrian opposition in future talks, draws the attention of Jamil. The representative of “the Cairo platform” Jihad Maqdisi said that despite the fact that he shared the opinion of “Moscow” colleagues, the representatives of “the Cairo platform” agree to go to Geneva under these conditions. Maqdisi said that de Mistura, sent a letter in which asked to postpone the start of negotiations before the settlement of the composition of the delegations.
Representatives of the “Moscow platform” not sure that will participate in the Geneva negotiations on such terms, said Jamil, the leader of the party “national front for change and liberation.” He believes that the decision taken by de Mistura said the decision on the discriminatory policy of the UN against the opposition groups and is aimed at disrupting the process of political settlement of the Syrian conflict. “He (Di Mistura) is well aware that the delegations of the CPSU and the government of Syria will not come to agreement,” — said Jamil .
A group of “Hamim” is still awaiting an invitation for talks, said the leader of the “Hmelnitscoi platform” Il’yana Mashad.
If the negotiations will not be “Moscow platform” and “Hamim” the CPSU will once again raise the issue of forming a transitional governing body in Syria. In his opinion, the CPSU is opposed to the creation of a single national government, which would be attended by representatives of each of the warring parties: the government and the opposition. “They want to shift certain people and to take their place. But these conversations to any positive result will not, and will only complicate the situation and prolong the conflict and further bloodshed,” — said Masaad.
The Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov on 20 February stressed the need to ensure inclusive representation of the Syrian opposition, including the “Moscow group”, the talks in Geneva. Press-Secretary de Mistura Yara Sharif said on 20 February that consultations on the composition of the delegations is not yet complete.
The first Geneva conference on Syria held in June 2012, the second took place in January-February 2014, the third — in February and July 2016. The basis for all negotiations on Syria is the so-called “Geneva communique” adopted on 30 June 2012, the conference Geneva-1. The main points of the document: the creation of a “transitional governing body” of the representatives of the regime and the opposition, the revision of the Constitution and the legal system, the creation of new state institutions and the holding of free elections. The document also claimed the territorial integrity of Syria and called for combining the continuity of their institutions, with elements of lustration (“liability for action during the current conflict”).