Top Syrian negotiator quits peace talks

HNC chief negotiator Mohammed Alloush. Photo: April 2016Image copyright

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Mohammed Alloush accused Syria’s government of “continuous aggressions” against the Syrian people

The chief negotiator of Syria’s main opposition umbrella group, Mohammed Alloush, has resigned over what he called the failure of peace talks.

Mr Alloush, from the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), said the talks had not brought a political deal or eased the plight of Syrians in besieged areas.

The HNC suspended its involvement in the UN-brokered “proximity” negotiations with a Syrian government delegation in Geneva in April.

No date has been set for a resumption.

“The three rounds of talks were unsuccessful because of the stubbornness of the regime and its continued bombardments and aggressions against the Syrian people,” Mr Alloush said.

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A truce between rebel and government forces is frequently violated

The Saudi-backed HNC has for months expressed its frustration about the progress of the Geneva talks.

It has been angered by the lack of humanitarian aid reaching besieged areas, the slow release of political detainees and the absence of movement towards a political transition in Syria without President Bashar al-Assad.

A nationwide truce between rebel and government forces brokered by the US and Russia is officially still in place, but is frequently violated.

Mr Alloush’s resignation could prompt further departures.

Reports say another member of the HNC has signalled he too may quit.

More than 250,000 Syrians have been killed and about 11 million people have been forced from their homes during the civil war, which began with an uprising against Mr Assad five years ago.

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