ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Geneva-based UN-backed Syrian peace talks on Tuesday encountered some difficulties as Syrian government negotiators had not returned and did not indicate if they would do so.
The eighth round of peace talks, which seeks to put an end to the ongoing civil war in Syria that has caused the deaths of over 340,000 people, began last week in Geneva.
The opposition delegation, united for the first time, said its head Nasr al-Hariri had arrived in Geneva and would meet with UN envoy Staffan de Mistura on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the opposition, Yahya al-Aridi, said the government delegation’s absence was an embarrassment to Russia, which supports the Syrian regime, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, Russian officials have not issued any immediate comment on the government delegation’s absence.
A source close to the Syrian government, cited by AFP, said a decision had not yet been made, and another anonymous government source expressed doubt on a return to the talks.
Al Watan, a newspaper close to the Syrian regime, said the delegation was not expected to return on Wednesday.
Bashar al-Jaafari, the current Permanent Representative of Syria to the UN, said there were “big problems in this round of talks,” after the opposition maintained its insistence on the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The conflict in Syria has continued since it began with anti-government protests in March 2011.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany