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Syrian government delegation questions legitimacy of Syrian opposition members in peace talks

The representatives of the Syrian opposition, who were gathering here for peace talks on Syria, can't be considered legitimate, the Syrian government delegation said on Monday.

"The opposition, represented at the peace talks in Astana, acts in contrary to formerly achieved agreements," said Bashar al-Ja'afari, head of the Syrian government delegation.

The Syrian opposition protected and supported terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra, which once seized the drinking water source for Damascus and cut off the drinking water supply for millions of people, al-Ja'afari told reporters at a break time of the talks.

"The representatives of the opposition are discussing a military operation conducted by Syrian army against terrorists who seized drinking water source for Damascus. Meanwhile, we are discussing about 7 million people, who don't have access to drinking water for 42 days," he said.

Jabhat al-Nusra hasn't joined the peace agreement, he emphasized, but the opposition didn't consider the group as a terrorist organization.

"How can you defend those who are not part of the agreement? So, you defend terrorists, people who use water as a weapon. In addition, this group is included in the list of terrorist groups defined by the U.N. You can not protect terrorists and condemn the actions of the Syrian army," Ja'afari said.

He also accused the opposition of misinterpreting the idea of cease-fire.

Mohammed Alloush, chief of the opposition delegation, said that the presence of Iranian-sponsored groups fighting in Syria isn't acceptable and makes it difficult to achieve any cease-fire in the country, according to the website of moderate opposition Free Syrian Army.

He stressed that the opposition is going to conduct peace talks only after a complete cease-fire.

Peace talks on Syria kicked off on Monday in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. Delegations of the Syrian government and opposition, Russia, Turkey and Special Representative of the United Nations Staffan de Mistura were taking part in the talks.

U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan George Krol was invited to the Astana peace talks as an observer as well.

[Source: Xinhua, Astana, 23Jan17]

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small logoThis document has been published on 24Jan17 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.