Syrian gov't blasts opposition at Geneva talks

AP , Friday 1 Dec 2017

Bashar al-Ja
Syria's U.N. ambassador and chief negotiator Bashar al-Ja'afari arrives for a meeting with United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura during the Intra Syria talks in Geneva, Switzerland December 1, 2017 (Photo: Reuters)

The head of Syria's government delegation to the peace talks in Geneva has blasted the opposition for a communique in which it stated its ultimate goal was to remove President Bashar Assad from power.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Bashar Ja'afari said his team will be leaving the Swiss city on Saturday. He said Damascus will decide whether the delegation would return Tuesday to resume participation in the talks.

The U.N.'s Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, said Thursday that the current round of peace talks will run through until Dec. 15.

But Ja'afari said Friday there can be no progress as long as the opposition insists on its so-called Riyadh 2 communique, which he described as "provocative and irresponsible."

He said the communique did not take into consideration the reality on the ground in the war-torn country, which has changed over the past two years in the government's favor.

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