Syrian opposition insists on direct talks with regime

GENEVA-The unified Syrian regime delegation in peace talks in Geneva on Tuesday insisted on having direct talks with the regime delegation to end the crisis in the country.

UN envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura on Tuesday met separately with delegations of the regime and the unified opposition at the ongoing Syria peace talks in Geneva.

After the meeting, the opposition spokesman Yahya Aridi told reporters: "We have been discussing the implementation of resolution 2254, which talks about the electoral process and the constitutional process which are organically interconnected with the political transition."

"It is agreed that Geneva is the place for discussing any political matter and any other contribution should be pouring into the Geneva talks. The place for a political solution is Geneva. The regime is not interested in getting involved in the political process, our priority is making Syria a safe place to come home to," Aridi warned.

Last month, de Mistura proposed direct talks between the sides with no preconditions. The unified opposition accepted the offer but the regime delegation refused.

A member of the Syrian opposition delegation Hadi Bahra told an Anadolu Agency correspondent on Tuesday that the opposition had demanded direct talks with the regime delegation to discuss the political transition in Syria.

The UN-backed Syrian peace talks had restarted in Geneva last week without the regime delegation until it joined the talks five days late on Monday without providing a reason.

The latest round of talks began on Nov. 28 with meetings between de Mistura and the opposition. The regime delegates conferred with de Mistura a day later.

This eighth round of peace talks will continue to Dec. 14.

The negotiations' four baskets -- a new constitution, governance, elections and combating terrorism -- have been discussed, as well as issues such as detainees, abductees, missing persons and humanitarian access.

Source: Anadolu Agency