UN-led negotations on Syrian war hits snag before opening ceremony in Geneva
Feb.24, Geneva: UN-led negotiations on the war in Syria got off to a delayed start following disputes over the participation of the Syrian opposition delegation, reports said.
Opposition representatives nearly missed the opening ceremony of the talks on Thursday after threatening not to attend over disagreements on the make-up and format of the session. But in a last-minute turnaround, they arrived late and as one large delegation.
UN envoy Staffan de Mistura formally began the fourth round of talks in Geneva in an opening session that brought the opposition and government delegations face-to-face at UN headquarters with expectations of a breakthrough low.
"I ask you to work together. I know it's not going to be easy to end this horrible conflict and lay the foundation for a country at peace with itself, sovereign and unified," de Mistura told the two delegations, who sat on opposite sides of the stage.
"It is your opportunity and solemn responsibility … not to condemn future generations of Syrian children to long years of bitter and bloody conflict."
The talks are part of the latest political initiative to bring an end to a six-year war that has killed nearly half a million people, wounded more than a million, and forced more than 12 million - half of the country's prewar population - from their homes.
The Oslo Times International News Network