Official: One cannot talk about disruption of intra-Syrian negotiations

Talks with the movement delegation will begin on Jan. 29

One cannot talk about a disruption of negotiations now despite the fact that the Syrian opposition's delegation has not yet confirmed its participation in the talks with Damascus, Khawla Mattar, the head of the office of UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

Talks with the movement delegation will begin today [on Jan. 29], she said. The opposition will send confirmation of its participation before the end of this day, she said.

Mattar added that talks between the government and the opposition will most likely begin on Saturday or Monday.

Mattar said opposition activists continue to make lifting by the Syrian troops of the blockade from the besieged cities, sending of humanitarian aid there and the release of prisoners a condition for negotiations.

"However, the idea is that they have to come and discuss that, not say that it has to happen before negotiations," she said.

At the same time, she said opposition representatives may come on Friday and in that case negotiations with them will take place in the evening.

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