Al-Jaafari: Preparatory phase for dialogue in Geneva likely to take longer than anticipated

Geneva, SANA – Head of the Syrian Arab Republic delegation to the intra-Syrian dialogue in Geneva, Bashar al-Jaafari, said that the preparatory phase for the dialogue in Geneva is likely to take longer than anticipated.

In a statement to Reuters on Wednesday, al-Jaafari said “It seems the first phase of preparations will take a much longer time expected and we don’t know yet when we will finish,” adding that the Syrian Arab Republic delegation doesn’t know who its interlocutors would be, how many delegations they would face and the names of all participants.

He added that information provided by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura show that several of the participants haven’t arrived at Geneva yet.

The Syrian Arab Republic had held its second meeting with de Mistura on Tuesday, with al-Jaafari affirming afterwards that the delegation came to Geneva without preconditions and that it will not accept any preconditions from anyone, adding that the current stage is still a preparatory stage for talks, and that the delegation is waiting to find out with whom it will hold dialogue.

It should be noted that the “Riyadh opposition” delegation refused to meet with de Mistura and reiterated its preconditions with contradict UN Security Council resolution no. 2254 and the two Vienna statements. The Riyadh opposition delegation also continues to hinder efforts to form a delegation with wide representation of the opposition.

Hazem Sabbagh

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