Talks between the UN special envoy for Syria and government representatives tentatively planned for Monday 11:00 am (1000 GMT) in Geneva have been “rescheduled” to allow talks with the opposition first, the UN said.
Khawla Mattar, spokeswoman for special envoy Staffan de Mistura, told AFP there was “the need to meet” with opposition first, and that a meeting with the government would happen “maybe another day”.
Discussions with the opposition umbrella group the so-called High Negotiations Committee (HNC) were still expected to take place at the UN’s European headquarters at 5:00 pm (1600 GMT), the UN said.
The HNC, which only reluctantly showed up late Saturday and held informal talks with de Mistura on Sunday in a Geneva hotel, is hesitating about entering formal indirect talks envisioned under a November roadmap agreed by outside powers.
The government’s chief envoy, Bashar al-Jaafari, who arrived in Geneva on Friday when he held talks with de Mistura, said Sunday the HNC was “not serious”.
At a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Al-Jaafari reiterated the readiness of Damascus to find a solution to end the foreign-backed crisis in the country.
He slammed the opposition for its foot-dragging before the talks, saying it goes to show that the opposition is not serious in its intention to resolve the conflict.