30 May 2016

Top Syrian negotiator quits peace talks

7:32 pm on 30 May 2016

The chief negotiator of Syria's main opposition umbrella group, Mohammed Alloush, has resigned over what he called the failure of peace talks.

Mohammed Alloush has resigned over what he called the failure of peace talks.

Mohammed Alloush has resigned over what he called the failure of peace talks. Photo: AFP

Mr Alloush, from the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), said the talks had not brought a political deal or eased the plight of Syrians in besieged areas.

The HNC suspended its involvement in the UN-brokered "proximity" negotiations with a Syrian government delegation in Geneva in April.

No date has been set for a resumption.

"The three rounds of talks were unsuccessful because of the stubbornness of the regime and its continued bombardments and aggressions against the Syrian people," Mr Alloush said.

The Saudi-backed HNC has for months expressed its frustration about the progress of the Geneva talks.

It has been angered by the lack of humanitarian aid reaching besieged areas, the slow release of political detainees and the absence of movement towards a political transition in Syria without President Bashar al-Assad.

A nationwide truce between rebel and government forces brokered by the US and Russia is officially still in place, but is frequently violated.

Syrian regime forces stage an airstrike in Douma district of Damascus.

The civil war in Syria has claimed an estimated 250,000 lives. Photo: AFP

Mr Alloush's resignation could prompt further departures.

Reports say another member of the HNC has signalled he too may quit.

More than 250,000 Syrians have been killed and about 11 million people have been forced from their homes during the civil war, which began with an uprising against Mr Assad five years ago.

- BBC

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