The United Nations has invited Syria’s government and opposition to peace talks set to start in Geneva on Friday, a U.N. statement said on Tuesday, without giving any details of who had been invited, or how many groups might participate.
“The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, has addressed invitations to the Syrian participants today, 26 January 2016, in accordance with the parameters outlined in Security Council resolution 2254 (2015),” the statement said. “The intra-Syrian talks will start as of 29 January 2016 in Geneva.”
Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition council hoping to oust President Bashar al-Assad from power signaled on Tuesday it might accept an invitation to peace talks in Geneva but said a final decision would only be made on Wednesday.
“There is consensus in the High Committee on being positive in our decision (to accept),” spokesman Salim al-Muslat told Arabiya News Channels’ al-Hadath.
Earlier, the Syrian opposition cast doubt on whether it would go to peace talks planned for Friday, throwing U.N. diplomatic efforts into question and accusing the United States of adopting Iranian and Russian ideas for solving the conflict.
Some of the people that Russia backed to attend proposed peace talks over Syria peace also got invitations to the talks from the United Nations, two people who received invitations said on Tuesday.
“I have been invited, and Haitham Manaa, Saleh Muslim, Ilham Ahmed and Qadri Jamil. We were invited individually,” Randa Kassis, president of the Movement of the Pluralistic Society, told Reuters.
Saleh Muslim is one of the leaders of the Syrian Kurdish PYD. When contacted, Muslim said he had yet to be invited.
Haitham Manaa confirmed to Reuters he had been invited.
Also, Turkey on Tuesday said it strongly opposes the Syrian Kurdish group Democratic Union Party (PYD) taking part in U.N.-backed talks planned for later this week seeking a political solution to the Syrian crisis.
“We are categorically against the YPG and PYD sitting at the table,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told ruling party’s lawmakers in parliament.
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