Meeting between UN and Syrian opposition postponed

Geneva, Feb 3 (IANS) A scheduled meeting between the United Nations (UN) and the major Syrian opposition on Tuesday afternoon was postponed to an as yet unspecified time.

The opposition is accusing the latest Syrian government and Russia military actions as threatening the current peace talks.
The UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, was scheduled to meet with the Syrian main opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) delegation for the second time on Tuesday afternoon at the UN headquarters here, but the meeting was later cancelled, Xinhua reported.
“No additional meeting related to the intra-Syrian talks will take place today,” the office of the UN Special Envoy said in a statement late on Tuesday afternoon.
“Last night and today we are receiving reports of massive escalation of Russian and regime military aggression on Aleppo and Homs, including attacks on hospitals and critical infrastructure. The target, as always, are overwhelmingly civilians,” the HNC official said in a statement.
The official highlighted De Mistura’s statement to the HNC that paragraphs 12 and 13 of a UN Security Council resolution, which calls for the unhindered provision of humanitarian aid throughout Syria as well as a cessation of attacks against civilians and civilian objects, were non-negotiable.
“The regime’s and Russia’s actions gravely threaten the political process. We need the international community to take immediate, serious and clear steps to ensure the credibility of this process,” the opposition delegate concluded.
The UN-mediated intra-Syrian talks on Tuesday struggled to continue in Geneva when the UN representative met again with government delegation in the morning.
After the meeting, Syrian ambassador to the UN and head of the government delegation, Bashar Jaafari, said the current talks attempting to broker peace for the war-torn country were still in their preliminary stages.
The stalled talks come one day after the special envoy’s announcement that intra-Syrian talks had officially started, following his meeting on Monday with the opposition.