VIDEO: Syrian Envoy Ja’afari Says Fate of President Al-Assad Non-Negotiable

Tue Apr 19, 2016 13:16:34

In an interview, broadcast early Tuesday by Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen television, Bashar al-Ja’afari said his team was only mandated to discuss the potential of including representatives from more political groups in the ruling administration.

“In Geneva, we have one mandate only to arrive at an expanded national government only, this is our mandate...this is the goal we strive to achieve in the Geneva peace talks,” said Ja’afari, the chief Syrian negotiator in the peace talks.

The latest round of talks on the Syria crisis, which began on April 13, was due to continue until the end of this week.

On Monday, however, UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said the opposition, known as the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), had once again suspended its formal participation in the talks.

The HNC, which pursues a transitional governing body with full executive powers without Assad, alleged that the Syrian government was not serious about moving towards a UN-backed political process.

The previous round also unraveled in Geneva on February 3 less than a week after they started as the HNC refused to attend the sessions.

Ja’afari went on to say that the opposition and the countries that support it are “annoyed because of the progress being made by the Syrian army on the ground.”

The official blamed Saudi Arabia as well as Turkey and Qatar, the HNC’s chief supporters, of seeking to sabotage the peace talks.

“There has been a decision... in Saudi Arabia, in Turkey, and in Qatar to derail inter-Syrian decision-making,” he said. “They do not want there to be a dialog between Syrians -- they want to make the Geneva negotiations fail,” he added.

“The Saudi, Turkish and Qatari sponsors do not want to stop the bloodbath in Syria and do not want a political solution in Syria.”

The HNC supports an array of militant groups on the ground in Syria.

Also on Monday, militant groups announced the launch of new assaults in the neighboring Latakia and Hama provinces in western Syria.

Among those involved in the Latakia offensive are Kataib Ansar al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham, and Jaish al-Islam terrorist groups, Press TV reported.

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