Syrian opposition withdraws from negotiations on Syria

Syrian opposition suspended its participation in the talks on Syria that are taking place in Astana, Interfax news agency reported citing an opposition representative.

"We left the meeting because even as we sat down at the negotiating table, the hostilities in the vicinity of Homs and Daraa continued, and there was no clear agenda," said a member of the delegation, Osama Abu Zeid.

He noted that the opposition delegation would not return to the negotiating table, "until the fighting stops and there is a clear agenda". The adviser to the High Negotiations Committee, Yahya al-Aridi, confirmed that the delegation suspended participation in the negotiations until the military situation was normalized.

"The delegation only suspended but did not stop participating in the negotiations. It means that the dialogue is not completely over," he said.

At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan continues to claim that the delegation of the Syrian opposition is taking part in the negotiations. The Ministry stated that the opposition had "just gone" because they have finished the meetings for the day. The negotiators are working on a memorandum on the areas of de-escalation in Syria, noted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.

"Work continues on the provisions of the so-called reconciled areas. Work is under way on the on the document for reinforcing the ceasefire in Syria and the exchange of prisoners," said Aidarbek Tumatov, director of the Department of Asia and Africa of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.

At the same time, according to Abu Zeid , the delegation of the Syrian opposition had not received any proposals for the creation of de-escalation zones.

Earlier, a source close to the negotiations reported that the Syrian opposition had refused to participate in the negotiations until Bashar al-Assad's army stopped bombing the opposition-controlled areas.

Later, the Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee confirmed the withdrawal from negotiations. In turn, the Special Envoy of the United Nations for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, stated that he was unaware of the suspension of the negotiations.

The fourth International Meeting on Syria takes place in Astana May 3rd and 4th.

  Syrian opposition, Kazakhstan, Astana