Syria peace talks suspended as government, opposition trade barbs

Syria peace talks

In a major setback for  the Syrian peace process, the United Nations has suspended the talks that aimed at finding a solution for peace in the strife-torn country.  The government of  Bashar al-Assad  and opposition began accusing each other after the UN suspended the Geneva peace talks on February 3. The peace process was expected to end the five-year-long civil war in Syria.

The move came after the Syrian forces, backed by Russian air strikes, cut the last supply route from Turkey to rebel-held city of Aleppo.

UN’s Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said the talks would resume the on February 25. Blaming the regime, the Syrian opposition said that “the President Assad’s regime was not interested in peace talks, and refused to return to Geneva for the discussions until “the humanitarian demands are met or (we) see something on the ground”.

“The whole world sees who is making the negotiations fail, who is bombing civilians and starving people to death,” chief coordinator Riad Hijab of High Negotiations Committee (HNC, the main opposition umbrella group said.

In a counter-allegation, the Syrian government said the opposition, which follows the orders of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, was responsible for the suspension of the Geneva talks.

“Those who have the responsibility of this failure are the Saudis, Turks and Qataris. They are the real handlers and masters of the Riyadh group,”  Government delegation chief Bashar al-Ja’afari said.

Ceasefire was one of the main topics on the agenda during the talks between the Syrian government and opposition. The Geneva talks was intended to end the civil war that has claimed over 2.5 lakh lives. The war has forced over 10 million to migrate to other countries, mostly European Union nations.

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