TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Syria's government delegation will arrive a day late in Geneva to take part in direct peace talks with the opposition, a Syrian foreign ministry official and a UN official said Tuesday.
The United Nations was scheduled to resume the peace talks between the government and the Syrian opposition in the Swiss city on Tuesday.
The opposition's delegation arrived Monday, after publishing a communique last week that said it was ready for talks "without preconditions."
"I can confirm we have received a message from Government of Syria indicating that their delegation would arrive tomorrow," said Michael Contet, an adviser to UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura, AP reported.
The Syrian foreign ministry official in Damascus also said the delegation will take part in talks starting Wednesday afternoon and the delegation will be headed by Bashar Ja'afari, Syria's representative at the United Nations.
As in previous talks, a major point of disagreement between the two sides will be the future of President Bashar al-Assad. The opposition's position is that Assad must leave at the start of any transitional period that will lead Syria out of nearly seven years of civil war.
Damascus has refused to negotiate over Assad's future in any talks with the opposition.
The head of the opposition's delegation, Nasr Hariri, told reporters on Monday that the opposition was "ready to negotiate”.
De Mistura stressed he would "not accept any preconditions by any party" to talks, and said the talks would be guided by a 2015 Security Council resolution mandating a political transition for Syria.
This latest round of Geneva talks, the eighth since 2012, will focus on getting to an "inclusive process" to draft and ratify a new constitution, said de Mistura.