UN mediation to end Syrian conflict has failed, opposition leader says

Author: ReutersFri, 2017-09-08 03:00ID: 1504816376373568500BEIRUT: A prominent Syrian opposition leader said on Thursday UN mediation to end the country’s six-year conflict has failed and the revolution would continue.
Riyad Hijab, chairman of the Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee (HNC), rejected comments by UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura that President Bashar Assad’s opponents must accept they have not won the war.
“De Mistura’s statements reflect the defeat of UN mediation,” Hijab wrote on Twitter. “The Syrian revolution continues,” he said.
De Mistura had repeatedly made “un-studied” remarks on the conflict, he said.
Hijab, a former Syrian prime minister under Assad, called for a new UN “approach on the Syrian issue,” without elaborating.
Assad has won a series of military victories but opposition groups still hold large parts of the northwest of the country and substantial enclaves in the southwest, in Homs province and near Damascus.
De Mistura said on Wednesday the opposition must be “unified and realistic” in accepting it had not won the war. He did not say Assad was victorious.
“Victory can only be if there is a sustainable political long-term solution,” de Mistura said, suggesting the conflict was almost over because many countries were involved principally to defeat Daesh and a national cease-fire should follow.
The remarks come ahead of a round of Syria talks between Damascus allies Russia and Iran and opposition backer Turkey in Astana next week.
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