Syria: Head of opposition's negotiating team Declares Four Red Lines For Syrian Negotiating Process. (SO).
Sources familiar with the recent meeting between the United Nations envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, and members of the High Committee for Negotiations say the envoy faced a solid delegation which appeared to have reached a clear consensus.
The sources told Al-Souria Net that the committee’s general coordinator, Riyad Hijab, insisted in his recent meeting with de Mistura on adhering to the principles demanded by the Syrian people, and said there was no room for compromise.
Al-Souria Net learned that Hijab specified four red lines which cannot be abandoned in any negotiation process with the Assad regime:
The establishment of a pluralistic regime – representing the full spectrum of the Syrian people – with no place for Bashar al-Assad, the military leadership or prominent figures of his regime in any current or future political arrangements; adhering to the integrity of Syrian territory; preserving the state institutions while restructuring and reforming its security and military institutions; and rejecting terrorism in all its forms.
Hijab stressed his full support for the efforts of the UN envoy in carrying out the provisions of the Geneva 2012 statement and UN Security Council decision 2118 to launch a political process conducive to the establishment of a transitional ruling body with full powers. He expressed his full readiness to cooperate with the UN envoy in taking the necessary steps to launch the political process and guarantee its success, stressing the need to commit to official direct communication channels with the general coordinator for the High Committee for Negotiations.
Hijab also noted the need for the international community to open channels to negotiate with those who have the real ability to create a ceasefire and guarantee it is adhered to, in accordance with binding international resolutions.
Hijab noted that some countries were bent on diplomatic attrition and were wasting time by requiring a unified terrorism list to be issued by countries holding different views on the definition of terrorism. He considered this to be a destructive attempt to hinder the political process.
Hijab added that the counter-terrorism track would require working to remove thousands of foreign fighters, whether members of the Islamic State group or sectarian factions or mercenary groups of various nationalities.
Addressing the role of the international community, Hijab stressed that, “the complexity of the crisis and the entry of various foreign parties places before us demands which we cannot ignore or get rid of under a UN resolution that aims to reach international consensus at the expense of the Syrian people. Security Council resolution 2254 has left serious gaps which the initiative must fill to guarantee the launch of a viable political process in Syria.”
He added: “It is not appropriate to issue a clause calling for an end to attacks against civilians and civilian targets, the targeting of medical facilities and those working in them, and the use of indiscriminate weapons including artillery and aerial bombardment, when the following day one of the international powers signing the resolution targets populated areas and uses cluster munitions and kills civilians and leaders of moderate factions who we are depended upon to guarantee the progress of the negotiating process and to fight ISIS [a reference to Russia]. This empties the resolution of its content and makes the concept of confidence-building unattainable, especially given that the resolution did not specify a timeframe to implement the ceasefire.”Read the full story here.