The Syrian opposition on Sunday called for the resumption of talks with the regime of Bashar al-Assad under the auspices of the UN, following the return of Damascus to the Arab fold after years of isolation.
The international, regional contexts" and the situation in Syria "are conducive to the resumption of direct negotiations (...) within the framework of a precise program and timetable," said in a statement the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), which brings together the main representatives of the opposition to the Syrian regime.
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Negotiations to resolve the Syrian crisis have reached stalemate since the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2015 in 2254, including a new constitution and elections. At the end of a two-day meeting in Geneva, the HNC called "to support the efforts of the United Nations" to take the necessary steps towards a "comprehensive political solution", in line with this UN resolution.
In a regional context of diplomatic rapprochement, the Arab League reintegrated in May the Syrian regime, ostracized since 2011 because of the repression in 2011 of the popular uprising triggered in the wake of the Arab Spring and which degenerated into civil war.
Involving regional and international actors, the conflict has claimed an estimated half a million lives. Since then, the Syrian opposition has lost much of its influence and support from countries in the region.
Riyadh, which initially supported Syrian rebel groups at the start of the conflict, has re-established ties with Damascus. Turkey, the main backer of the rebels controlling parts of northern Syria, has also shown signs of rapprochement with Bashar al-Assad. The HNC considered that the reintegration of the regime into the Arab fold carried "the risk" that the regime would reject any political solution.
On May 19, the Arab summit, attended by President Assad, stressed the "need to take effective and efficient measures to reach a settlement" of the conflict in Syria.
In a speech to the Security Council at the end of May, the UN special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, said that the "new diplomatic activity" in the region since April "could represent an opportunity if seized".