Friday 31 January 2014 - 18:16

Syria slams SNC, US for deadlock in Geneva II talks

Story Code : 347157
Syria slams SNC, US for deadlock in Geneva II talks
"I regret to tell you that we have not reached tangible results during this week," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told reporters after the closed-door negotiations wrapped up in Geneva on Friday.
    Muallem said the opposition lacked "maturity and seriousness" and acted "as if we had wanted to come here for one hour and hand over everything to them…. It's indicative of the illusions that they are living under."
The Syrian official explained that the government delegation took part in the talks with an open mind and agreed to discuss everything, blaming the foreign-backed opposition for refusing to discuss the issue of terrorism.
Earlier in the day, Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said the opposition delegation will not win concessions from Damascus in any future talks.
Furthermore, Louay Safi, a member of the so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC), said Damascus was forced to attend the talks because of the actions of the militants who are “the true voice of the Syrians.”
The remarks come after a week of discussions that initially kicked off in the Swiss town of Montreux on January 22, before moving to the United Nations headquarters in Geneva.
The talks held under the supervision of UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi brought together the Syrian government and the opposition for the first time since the outbreak of violence in Syria in 2011.
On Friday, Brahimi said the gap between the two sides remains wide.
The SNC and its Western supporters insist that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must step down and a transitional government be formed in Syria.
But Damascus rejects the demand, arguing that the SNC does not represent the Syrian opposition.
The next round of talks between Syria's warring sides is scheduled to begin on February 10.