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Part of Syrian opposition boycotting Geneva talks as Kurds are not involved in the talks

February 03, 9:41 UTC+3 GENEVA
Currently, two delegations of the Syrian opposition are represented at the talks in Geneva
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Haytham Manna, the president of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria, right, and secretary Raja al-Nasser, left

Haytham Manna, the president of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria, right, and secretary Raja al-Nasser, left

© AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

GENEVA, February 3. /TASS/. More than 20 representatives of the Syrian opposition among the supporters of co-chairman of the opposition Syrian Democratic Council Haytham Manna are boycotting the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva due to failure to include Kurds in the talks. Haytham Manna said as much in an interview with TASS.

Currently, two delegations of the Syrian opposition are represented at the talks in Geneva. One of them was formed after a meeting in Riyadh, and the other - following meetings in Cairo and Moscow. Manna’s supporters who developed a common platform at the Cairo-2 conference form part of the second delegation.

"We have submitted a list of 22 members for participation in the talks but received a refusal with regard to six of them. These are five Kurds and one Turkoman," he said. "And then all of us - 22 people on the list - refused to attend the meeting [with UN Secretary General’s special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura] on Wednesday."

Manna also criticized the participation of representative of Jaysh al-Islam Mohammed Alloush in the talks. "That was a concession," he said. He noted that he had no intention of leaving Geneva where the intra-Syrian talks were being held because of this. "We remain here. When de Mistura accepts our list, our entire list as it is, we will be ready to negotiate."

Manna voiced confidence that the negotiation process on the settlement in Syria would not succeed without his supporters. "They [the organizers of the talks] need us, and we do not need them," he said. "We cannot agree with the conditions put forward by anyone."

Manna plans to hold in Geneva a number of meetings with representatives of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) member-countries and other countries. "Meetings with the majority of ISSG members are planned, but not only with them," he said. "These are, for example, representatives of Japan and the Scandinavian countries."

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