February 24, 2017 / 4:55 PM / in 2 years

Syrian opposition receives U.N. working paper

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations has handed a working paper on procedural issues and ideas for a political process to the Syrian opposition, its lead negotiator said after holding talks with mediator Staffan de Mistura.

“There is a paper about the procedural issues and some ideas to begin the political process,” Nasr al-Hariri told reporters after at least two hours of talks.

The government delegation had earlier said it would study a paper after seeing de Mistura.

Hariri repeated in his news conference that the opposition’s priority was to begin negotiations on a political transition with a transitional governing body, suggesting it would not back down on its demands that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad step down.

“We have heard from Mr. de Mistura positive ideas and suggestions, I believe he is more enthusiastic to be engaged seriously in political transition,” he said.

Reporting by Laila Bassam; writing by John Irish; editing by Stephanie Nebehay

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