Middle East

Opposition won’t expand before Geneva: Mannaa

BEIRUT: A bid to expand the opposition’s delegation at next week’s scheduled Geneva II peace talks won’t have enough time to bear fruit, according to prominent opposition figure Haitham Mannaa.

The general coordinator of the National Coordination Body, Hasan Abdel-Azim, is in Cairo for talks with Ahmad Jarba, the head of the opposition-in-exile National Coalition, to discuss the issue, according to the NCB’s Facebook page.

But Mannaa, in a post Thursday on the same site, said that the NCB, sometimes referred to as the “regime-tolerated opposition,” would not be taking part in next week’s resumption of Geneva II talks.

Mannaa, an NCB official based outside the country, told UPI news agency that Abdel-Azim would invite Jarba to take part in a consultative meeting to discuss a road map for a united, expanded opposition delegation, and urged that Monday’s resumption of Geneva II be postponed in order to make way for such efforts to conclude.

“How can we sit down with a regime that is committing war crimes during the discussions, by bombing civilian neighborhoods with TNT barrels as we negotiate with it?” he also asked.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 07, 2014, on page 8.




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