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Syrian opposition negotiator quits

dpadpa 29/05/2016

The Syrian opposition is in disarray after its senior negotiator quit over what he says is the futility of the UN-led peace talks.

The delegation representing the Syrian opposition at the stalled peace talks in Geneva is in disarray after a senior negotiator resigned and the future of the delegation chief appears uncertain.

Senior Syrian opposition negotiator Mohammad Alloush announced his resignation late on Sunday, citing what he saw as the futility of the UN-led Geneva process to end the country's civil war.

Alloush is a leading official of the Islamist rebel group Jaish al-Islam. He was titled "chief negotiator" to highlight his high rank, even though it is Asaad al-Zoubi who has led the opposition team in Geneva.

"There is a possibility that Asaad al-Zoubi would resign but so far he did not announce it," Samir Nashar, a member of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, told DPA on Monday.

"We all think these negotiations are a waste of time and the regime is not implementing any resolutions taken by the international community," the representative of the main Syrian opposition bloc added.

The Syrian opposition walked out of peace talks in Geneva last month in protest at an increase in fighting and the alleged blocking of humanitarian and medical aid by the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Alloush had angered regime delegates in April when he called on armed rebels to retaliate against government forces for alleged violations of a truce.

The next round of Syria peace talks will not be launched before mid-June, UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura told the UN Security Council on Thursday.

The Syrian conflict, which began with peaceful protests in March 2011, has spiralled into a multi-sided civil war with a death toll of some 250,000 and half the country's population displaced, according to UN estimates.

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