“Opposition” Demands No-Fly Zone Over All of Syria

The opposition delegation says any agreement won’t be acceptable if it does not include the following point: any ceasefire agreement should hold over the entire territory of Syria.

ASTANA, May 4./TASS/. The delegation of the Syrian armed opposition rejects Iran’s role as a ceasefire guarantor state, says a statement of the delegation circulated after the talks in Astana.

“The revolutionary forces delegation would like to reiterate that any agreement won’t be acceptable if it does not include the following points…,” the statement said. “The rejection of any Iranian role and its affiliated militias, and the rejection that Iran has a guarantor role or any other role,” it said.

Any truce agreements must apply to the whole territory of Syria, the Syrian armed opposition’s delegation said. “The revolutionary forces delegation would like to reiterate that any agreement won’t be acceptable if it does not include the following points: any ceasefire agreement should hold over the entire territory of Syria.”

Syrian opposition explains demarche at Astana session

ASTANA, May 4./TASS/. A representative of the Syrian armed opposition at talks in Astana said part of the delegation had marched out of a plenary session in the Kazakh capital in protest at Iran’s participation in the meeting.

“What happened brings to limelight the real feelings that reflect Syrian people’s opinion towards the occupant country upsetting the demographic situation,” Osama Abu Zeid told a news conference replying to the query about the reasons behind the demarche. “This is the position of the whole delegation,” he added.

Osama Abu Zeid said a representative of the armed opposition “could not accept the idea that Iran can act as a Syrian ceasefire guarantor state”.

Part of the delegation of the Syrian armed opposition marched out of a plenary session in Astana on Thursday. As the guarantor countries were signing a memorandum to create de-escalation zones in Syria, someone from the delegation yelled out “Iran is a criminal, it has no right to be among the guarantor countries”.

Then he along with one more delegate from the armed opposition slammed down their headphones and left the conference hall.

Having waited for them to leave, the head of the Russian, Iranian and Turkish delegations continued the ceremony to sign the document, cheered by the other participants in the session. The signing took place in the presence of UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura.

Russian envoy explains opposition’s demarche as lack of diplomatic experience

Delegations of Russia, Iran and Turkey at Syrian peace talks in Astana, Jan. 23, 2017

ASTANA, May 4./TASS/. The incident in which part of the delegation of the Syrian armed opposition marched out of a plenary session in the Kazakh capital demonstrates the absence of diplomatic experience, and will hardly influence the pace of developments in Syria, Russian president’s special envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentyev, said on Thursday.

“I would describe this just as an element of temper and the absence of experience in political-diplomatic work,” said Lavrentyev, Russia’s chief negotiator at Astana talks. “I don’t think it will have any influence on the future developments in Syria,” he added.

As the guarantor countries were signing a memorandum to create de-escalation zones in Syria earlier on Thursday, someone from the delegation yelled out “Iran is a criminal, it has no right to be among the guarantor countries”.

Then he along with one more delegate from the armed opposition slammed down their headphones and left the conference hall.

Having waited for them to leave, the head of the Russian, Iranian and Turkish delegations continued the ceremony to sign the document, cheered by the other participants in the session. The signing took place in the presence of UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura.