Syrian foreign-backed opposition factions will not attend a new round of negotiations with government figures in the Kazakh capital, an opposition delegation spokesman told AFP on Monday.
“Opposition groups have decided not to participate in Astana,” said Osama Abu Zeid, saying one reason for the boycott was “unfulfilled pledges related to the cessation of hostilities.”
The third round of talks in Astana, sponsored by government ally Russia, Turkey and Iran is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.
The Astana track has aimed to reinforce a ceasefire deal brokered by Moscow and Ankara in December.
“We decided not to participate in Astana because the reinforcement of the ceasefire was not implemented,” said Ahmad Othman, commander of the Ankara-backed Sultan Murad group.
“The regime and the militias are continuing to bomb, displace, and besiege,” he told AFP on Monday, saying they had informed the talks’ sponsors of their decision.
Meanwhile on Monday, the Syrian government delegation, headed by Damascus’ representative to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari, arrived in the Kazakh capital.
A fresh round of negotiations in Switzerland is set to begin on March 23 and will focus on governance, constitutional process, elections, counter-terrorism and possibly reconstruction.