Geneva meetings officially start

After 2 years, Geneva meetings started yesterday. UN Syria Representative Staffan de Mistura, the moderator of the meetings, met with the opposition yesterday and today, he will meet with the delegation of Esad Regime.

Mistura met with Riyadh supported Syrian opposition yesterday and thus started the Geneva peace negotiations. 

UN Syria Representative Staffan de Mistura made a statement saying that the most important purpose of the meetings is “making the both parties talk, though not to each other.”

Speaking about the meeting with the opposition, Mistura said that the demands are “releasing the political prisoners, lifting the blockades and Syrian regime to stop the bombardments.”

Mistura will meet the delegation of the regime today and relay the demands of the opposition. 

Political prisoners

However, according to New York Times' report, there are differences between the lists of political prisoners. Spokesperson of Riyadh supported High Negotiation Committee (HNC), which consists of Syrian opposition, Salem al-Meslet said that there 3.800 people on their list. Hind Kabawat, another member of the committee, said that they have a list consisting of 300 women and children. 

Overall ceasefire demand

Mistura stated that there will also be meetings with International Syria Support Group: “I am reminding International Syria Support Group members of what they actually indicated, that when talks start, they themselves would start helping in ensuring there would be a discussion about an overall cease-fire in the Syrian conflict. If this happens, we would give a strong message to all Syrians."

Aid to the towns under blockade

Mistura also announced that Syrian government accepted the aid that will be provided to Madaya, al-Foula and Kefraya, which are under blockade “in principle”. There is no information about the date of departure of the aid convoy. Madaya is under blockade by the Syrian government, whereas  al-Foula and Kefraya is under blockade by the opposition.

Autonomy message from the regime

According to Rudaw's report, Beşar Caferi from the government delegation said: “Syria has zero tolerance toward federalism and autonomy. Syria's rule should be respected by all.”

Statement from PYD

On the other hand, speaking on behalf of PYD, which is not invited to Geneva meetings, Salih Müslim said that they won't respect any decisions that are made in Geneva, since they are not invited. 

UN aims to achieve a development in the meetings until February 11. If this happens, there would be proximity talks that will last for 6 months for an overall cease-fire for the war that has been going on for 5 years. 

Last meetings about the Syrian Civil war took place in 2014, which remained inconclusive.