AMMAN The Syrian opposition delegation in Geneva for peace talks could walk out of the process if President Bashar al-Assad's forces and allies continue to escalate a bombing campaign in rebel-held areas and hamper delivery of humanitarian aid, a senior negotiator said on Sunday.
The delegation is seeking a halt to attacks on civilian areas, the release of detainees and a lifting of blockades. The measures were mentioned in a Security Council resolution approved last month that endorsed the peace process for Syria.
But Riad Hijab, the leading figure in the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) that brings together representatives of the mainstream political opposition and rebel groups, said in an online statement that without U.N. and international pressure on the Syrian government there would be no justification for the main Saudi-backed opposition group to remain in Geneva.
"In view of the regime and its allies' insistence in violating the rights of the Syrian people, then the presence of the HNC delegation in Geneva would not have justification and the HNC could pull its negotiating team," Hijab said.
Hijab was not among the group that arrived in Geneva and his comments came after a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Riyadh, where Hijab was quoted as expressing his concern about the intensifying aerial bombing on Syrian cities and refugee camps.
He said that the delegation had travelled to Geneva only after they received written and verbal assurances from world powers that humanitarian issues would be addressed.
(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Catherine Evans and David Goodman)
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First Published On : Jan 31, 2016 21:46 IST