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Syrian regime refuses negotiations before cancelling Riyadh statement

Published: Updated:

Bashar al-Jaafari, the head of the Syrian regime delegation at the Geneva-8 talks, said there will be no negotiations with the opposition without cancelling the Riyadh statement.

Jaafari said in a press conference following his meeting with UN envoy Staffan De Mistura that there will be no negotiations as long as the opposition adheres to its position that President Bashar al-Assad be excluded from any transitional government.

“We told De Mistura that we reject his recent statements,” Jaafari also said, adding that the UN envoy’s “mistakes” undermine his task.

Asked who is obstructing the negotiations, he said: “Yusuf’s brother threw him in the well. We all know this story in the Quran,” adding that the opposition is the party obstructing the negotiations.

Jaafari also held “those who formulated the Riyadh statement” responsible for the collapse of the Geneva-8 talks.