The Latest: Syrian opposition delegation arrives in Geneva

AP News
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Posted: Jan 30, 2016 1:51 PM
The Latest: Syrian opposition delegation arrives in Geneva

GENEVA (AP) — The Latest on United Nations-sponsored Syrian peace negotiations in Switzerland (all times local):

7:40 p.m.

A Syrian opposition official says the main opposition delegation has arrived in Geneva. However it remains uncertain whether the delegation from the Higher Negotiations Committee will actually participate in United Nations-sponsored peace talks. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

The HNC skipped the start of the talks on Friday, saying it would not participate until a set of preliminary demands are met: releasing detainees, ending the bombardment of civilians by Russian and Syrian forces, and lifting government blockades on rebel-held areas. They agreed to come to Geneva to further discuss the matter with U.N. officials, but still have not agreed to participate in the talks.

---Bassem Mroue in Geneva

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5 p.m.

An official with Syria's largest Kurdish group says senior members of their party have left Geneva after not being invited to take part in indirect negotiations aiming to end Syria's civil war.

The talks began here Friday with a meeting between the U.N. envoy and the Syrian government delegation.

Kurdish official Nawaf Khalil says Saleh Muslim, the co-president of the Democratic Union Party or PYD, left Geneva Saturday.

Turkey considers the PYD a terrorist organization and the main opposition group known as the Higher Negotiations Committee claims they are close to the Syrian government.

The PYD departure came as the HNC team left Saudi Arabia for Geneva where they will work with the U.N. on ending the bombardment of civilians and lifting blockades in rebel-held areas.