The commander of Syria’s Western-backed militant group has rejected to take part in negotiations aimed at resolving the deadly war in Syria.
Leader of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) General Salim Idriss made the remarks in an interview with Al-Jazeera news channel on Tuesday, a day after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the long-awaited talks would be held on January 22.
“Conditions are not suitable for running the Geneva 2 talks at the given date, and we, as a military and revolutionary force, will not participate in the conference,” Idriss stated.
Idriss added that the FSA would continue its battle against the Syrian government.
“We will not stop combat at all during the Geneva conference or after it, and what concerns us is getting needed weapons for our fighters.”
UN-Arab League Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahim has said that the upcoming conference would start “without any preconditions.”
A spokesman for the so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC), Laui Safi, said right after the UN announcement that the foreign-backed group would only join the conference if its preconditions, including resignation of President Assad, are met.
The Syrian government has said that it will take part in talks without any pre-conditions, saying the other side must also put aside setting conditions and come to talk about their demands at the negotiation table.
The talks are set by the UN to take place in Geneva on January 22, 2014.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced such a date in a statement issued on Monday, adding that, “The conflict in Syria has raged for too long. It would be unforgivable not to seize this opportunity to bring an end to the suffering and destruction it has caused,” he said.
The war in Syria started in March 2011, when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states.
The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.
Reported By ALALAM