The Syrian opposition will meet in 10 days’ time to decide who to send to future peace talks after its chief negotiator resigned, a spokesman told a pan-Arab television station on Monday.
Mohammed Alloush, chief negotiator for the mainstream opposition delegation to the negotiations, said on Sunday he was resigning over the failure of the U.N.-backed Geneva talks to bring a political settlement or ease the plight of Syrians in besieged areas.
Salem al-Muslat, spokesman for the opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC), told Al Hadath television the next meeting would re-assess a number of issues, not only who will be on the negotiating team.
“This is all the result of frustration felt by Syrians about the poor performance by the international community,” Muslat told Al Hadath television.
“The next meeting will take decisions on many issues.” Alloush is also the representative of the powerful Jaish al-Islam rebel faction, and remains a member of the HNC in that role.
Russia, which supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and is playing an intermediary role in peace talks, has in the past asked the U.N to brand Jaish al-Islam a terrorist group.
A source familiar with what happened at HNC meetings last week in Saudi Arabia said there were discussions about replacing Alloush and delegation head Asaad al-Zoubi, a Syrian army defector.
“The idea was that the chief negotiator and head of the delegation should be a specialist, someone with experience in diplomacy and international law,” the source said, denying there had been foreign pressure for their removal.
The Syrian opposition in April suspended its formal participation in peace talks in protest at Syrian army offensives they said meant a ceasefire was effectively over.
U.N. special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has not set a date for the resumption of talks.