'Opposition' rejects UN bid for political settlement of Syria crisis
Iran Press TV
Tue Aug 2, 2016 2:15PM
Syria's main foreign-backed so-called opposition group, known as the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), has once again dismissed a proposal by the United Nations to resolve the conflict in the Middle Eastern country.
Back in April, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura put forward an initiative, under which President Bashar al-Assad would remain in power during a political transition in the Arab country, with three deputies from the opposition.
The plan seeks an end to the "vicious cycle" of debate over a transitional period to end the crisis in Syria, according to De Mistura.
At the time, an unidentified HNC source said the committee had "categorically rejected" the proposal.
Assad al-Zubi, the HNC head, also on Tuesday claimed on his Twitter page that the scheme was proposed by Iran and Russia in favor of Assad, the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV reported.
Insisting on the ouster of Assad, Zubi also accused the UN of what he described as conspiracy against Syria, saying the world body is trying to evacuate people from the cities of Aleppo and Homs rather than helping locals in besieged areas.
The remarks came two days after UN Deputy Special Envoy for Syria Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy traveled to Syria and formally invited the Damascus government to take part in a new round of intra-Syrian peace talks.
Ramzy said that he had received a positive response from the Syrian government.
The fresh UN-brokered discussions are expected to be held at the end of August.
The latest round of the negotiations between Syria's warring sides began in the Swiss city of Geneva on April 13, but they were brought to a halt after the HNC walked out of the talks and declared a "new war" on the government.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-sponsored militancy since March 2011.
According to De Mistura, over 400,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict. The UN has stopped its official casualty count in the Middle Eastern state, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.
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