Syrian government says still too early to begin indirect talks

February 2, 2016 15:29

GENEVA - The head of Syria's delegation at peace talks in Geneva said on Tuesday things were still in preparatory phase and that he was waiting for UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura to provide him with a list of the opposition negotiating team.

"The circumstances on the formalities are not yet ready. We are in the preparatory stage before the official launch of indirect negotiations," Bashar al-Jaafari told reporters after a 2-1/2 hour meeting with De Mistura.

"To prepare the official launch we have to have the presence of the two delegations, but on the other side the delegation has not been finalized," he said, adding that De Mistura realised that circumstances on Tuesday were not ready for indirect talks.

He reiterated that there should be no pre-conditions to begin indirect talks. Opposition representatives say they will not negotiate unless the government stops bombarding civilian areas, lifts blockades and releases detainees.

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